by Nick Brown
Available as ebook and paperback on Amazon
Though her success in the Skendleby murders case has made her position at Greater Manchester police permanent and gained her the respect of her colleagues, Detective Inspector Viv Campbell’s investigation is far from over. In fact, you could say the craziness she’s already experienced is only just the beginning.
With Si Carver’s development beginning its second stage, there’s only the Devil’s mound that separates him and his dream leisure complex from being completed. It seems as though Si’s not the only one keen on seeing the mound destroyed with a pregnant Claire Vanarvi eager for the mound to be gone as she looks toward her impending birth.
With the clock ticking, it seems as though time is running out. With ancient plans set to come to fruition, Viv, Colonel Theodrakis, Anderson, archaeologist Giles and local vicar Ed need all the help they can muster if they’re to stop the horrors that lay afoot. Fortunately for them, a little help turns up in the unlikeliest forms but will it be too late to stop what’s already in motion?
Nick Brown’s fourth and penultimate instalment of his Ancient Gramarye series wastes no time in preparing us for the ultimate of finishers. Where the first two books, Skendleby and The Dead Travel Fast, detailed the initial outbreak of the ancient evil, Dark Coven and Greenman Resurrection are definitely the heart of the overarching story with the latter winding down the plot to its ultimate climax in the yet-to-be-titled fifth book. Initially, Greenman Resurrection was meant to be the final book of the series however it seems that Brown has more of the story yet to tell. Whilst Greenman Resurrection certainly works as a completed novel, it does leave some unfinished business that could be explored further and I’m delighted to know that Nick is doing just that. The characters that Nick has built throughout the four books have become people of their own, with their own lives, loves and heartbreak, and ultimately it’ll be hard to say goodbye once the time comes. They’ve grown on me as much as they themselves have grown throughout the novels and even though the final chapters wrap up the story nicely, there’s still one last piece of the story which can be told. As with anything in Skendleby, nothing is ever what it seems…
In this particular book, we see the demon inhabiting Claire Vanarvi shed its pretence of innocence and reveal its true self to the book’s protagonists. Some characters, such as D.I. Viv Campbell, have only sampled a slice of what power she possesses but with the birth of her ‘child’ almost upon them, Claire’s need to conceal her true plans, as well as her need of those around her, comes to an end. In what is essentially a battle of good versus evil, human versus supernatural, GREENMAN RESURRECTION dangles the reader over a cliff edge with the possibility life could truly be going to hell in a handcart. A life of extreme evil and torment awaits, and a group of coppers, an archaeologist and a vicar are all that stand in her way. Doesn’t sound so promising, does it? Author Nick Brown realises this and prefers to level out the playing field just a tad, to at least give us hope that all is not lost. He doesn’t force this though. Like meeting up with long lost friends, we’re reunited with past characters, along with a couple of new faces, all of which are brought along for the ride. It seems as though the events have been pre-determined or pre-planned, or at least someone is overseeing the protagonists, keeping a watchful eye over how the entire scenario plays out. As with many forces of evil, an opposite must exist out there but just who exactly is fighting the good fight and will it be enough to stop Claire in her tracks?
Once again, Nick Brown pulls you into his world of Skendleby, drawing you into its terrifying yet seductive world. The inherent evil that was unleashed in the first book has firmly took hold in this fourth instalment and refuses to release its grip. Once you’ve begun this malevolent journey, there’s no stopping it. No missing a chapter or leaving halfway through. You have to see it right through to the end, just like the characters have to see it through. Even though characters like Anderson wish they could bury their head in the sand and exit the nightmare they’ve found themselves in, the evil within Claire Vanarvi is simply far too powerful and will stop at nothing to get what it wants, no matter the cost. With already a trail of bodies in her wake, any one of our protagonists could be next and that’s what’s frightening! Brown mixes the familiar with the unfamiliar to put you off guard and that’s where the real horror hits home. His use of language lures you into the story, that Polanski-esque evil continuing to simmer just below the surface, until Claire Vanarvi decides to pull back the curtain and reveal the horror in all its glory. With such a powerful entity to fight against, it’s fascinating to see just how the plot unfolds. It doesn’t rush, instead taking it’s time, the evil seemingly a part of society now; too embedded to be simply banished with ease. Desperate times call for unorthodox measures and there’s plenty of those within the book as the main characters seek to find a solution to defeat the bringer of death and misery.
A terrifying page turner, GREENMAN RESURRECTION thrusts you into the shoes of its characters such as the simple vicar who’s searching for answers in a foreign land. What’s a puzzle for the character is as much as a headscratcher for the reader as Brown leaves us in the dark as to the identity and motives of the mystery players hiding in the wings. Knowing as much as the protagonists firmly sits the reader on their side, understanding and feeling the threat as though it was the reader themselves facing against this otherworldly evil. Nick Brown teases us with the solution but even from the opening ‘damaged messages’, we know that this story is not yet over.