REVIEW: The Ravenglass Eye

By Alan Cleaver

imagesSO you want your next book to be a bit different?

You’re fed up with the worthy but predictable fiction that follows a tried and tested formula laid down by publishers.

Then order a copy of The Ravenglass Eye by Tom Fletcher.

You might be shocked, horrified, outraged, delighted and amazed – but you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Here’s an author who not only dares to be different, he seems to tear ‘different’ up into tiny bits until he comes up with something completely fresh.

Firstly, yes that Ravenglass in the title is a reference to our Ravenglass in west Cumbria and having local places in your novel always gives you a ‘hook’ and make a new author slightly more approachable.

He lives in Cumbria and has been writing books for the last 10 years – I’m only puzzled that I’ve not come across him before.

His writing may be brilliant but his PR obviously needs a bit of work. Thanks to Marc on Facebook though I came across him and am very glad I did.

To be honest, the horror/fantasy genre is one I wander into only occasionally and then it’s usually the ‘safe bets’ of HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.

But I’m very glad to have found this young upstart. Sure, the occasional Games-of-Thrones menu of blood and guts served up is not going to be to everyone’s taste.

But Beatrix Potter this ain’t. And even if the subject matter is not to your liking, the writing style is a thing of beauty in itself.

It’s not all blood and gore of course. For most of the book you are sharing a love story as Londoner Edie moves to Ravenglass and encounters the weird and wonderful folk in her local pub.

As with Game of Thrones, characters become more important than the action and it’s impossible not to be drawn into Edie’s strange new world.

Fletcher takes the landscape of west Cumbria with its curious mix of ancient stone circles and modern nuclear processing plants and moulds them into a whole different world.

It’s recognizable as west Cumbria but sufficiently alternative to keep the reader off-balance – it also adds to the scary edge of The Ravenglass Eye.

Hats off to Mr Fletcher for having the courage and ability to come up with something truly original in a literary world that is frequently depressingly bland and predictable.

And the good news: This is just one of a series of books by Tom Fletcher that’s set in west Cumbria.

The Ravenglass Eye by Tom Fletcher is available from Amazon price £8.99 (kindle version £4.99)