Okay, now that you've had an introduction to the author, here's a little about the book. The synopsis:
From the bestselling author of Plague: Part one of the Sulham Close series.
Pete rubs his hands together and waits for midnight. Neil tightens the noose around his neck and jumps from a stool. Kellie collapses to her knees, making the sign of the cross, even though God no longer listens. Sean and Amelia hold each other and wait for the screams. Harold pins Eloise to the kitchen floor as she shrieks her warnings. And so another August passes.
The residents of Sulham Close are cursed. Each year they must provide a sacrifice or suffer the wrath of a goblin-like creature called the ellyllon. Pete finds the victims, vagrants, junkies. People no one will miss.
He lures homeless Mark to Sulham Close with promises of getting him off drugs and giving him an education, installs him in the sacrifice cottage and leaves him to his fate. But Mark has a secret, a girlfriend Pete didn’t see. Heavily pregnant Louisa arrives late in the evening. Unsure whether to believe Pete or clear the house out of valuables, they decide to go exploring. They find a noose and then a man in a tub full of blood, one hand hanging by a sliver of skin at the wrist.
Nothing is worth getting caught up in a murder, so the pair make a run for it, but the gates are locked and there’s no way out of the close. Time has nearly run out. There are noises coming from a cupboard in the cottage and as midnight arrives, the handle turns from the inside…
The idea calls to mind stories like "The Lottery," where residents of a particular place are tasked to provide human sacrifices in order to maintain their lifestyles. But that would be where the similarity ends. As you're never quite sure who the townspeople of "The Lottery" are offering their sacrifice too, or if it's accepted even, you're given quite a close of view of the recipient(s) in Sacrifice. And they're a terrifying bit of welsh folklore. I'm not sure where Mrs. Hinsley drew her inspiration from, but I don't want to visit there late at night.
While Sacrifice is short, 113 pages, the characters are well developed and thought out. I easily sympathized with Mark and his girlfriend, disliked Peter immensely, and got a good feel for the other residents of the close, and their characters.
What I didn't know when I read Sacrifice was that it was going to be a series, this explains a lot of the questions I had and a few themes I felt were underdeveloped. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and finding out more about the curse and it's victims.
I'd recommend the book to anyone who enjoys supernatural horror. But I'd lock my cupboards before reading, if I were you.
You can find more about Lisa C. Hinsley's books at: