'The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods' by Samuel J. Halpin is a wickedly good read. Dyed with vibrant horror with tangled threads of mystery and words like silk, this is a unique and thrilling book to plague your dreams.
Poppy is sent to live with her Gran in the peculiar town of Suds. There are twisted tales and mysterious disappearances here and Poppy wants to investigate, just like her mum once had. Teaming up with the unusually bright, but slightly awkward Erasmus, Poppy will unravel the dark history of Suds. Do they dare to go into the Riddling Woods to find out more?
This is a really unusual and hugely enjoyable twisted fairytale. At points it is really disturbing and quite sinister; at others warm, and sweet as sugar. Every character is exquisitely sewn together and looped into the fabric of the story with quirkiness and depth. Poppy is brilliant: fearful but brave, kind but vulnerable. Erasmus is exceptional: weird and compelling, and a a character I adored. Furthermore Gran is utterly charming, bringing a warmth and comfort to proceedings. Every character has their place - expect the unexpected!
There were some scenes that are genuinely nightmarish. If a child reading this doesn't immediately throw dust, cobwebs and chalk on their window sills then they don't have a nerve in their body! Some scenes are really disturbing and quite gross, in a way that would have thrilled Roald Dahl. In particular, I don't think I will ever forget one chapter that involves a rat. Children will squirm, will hide in their covers, but will also smile at this absorbing tale of horror and mystery.
Quite like no other, 'The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods' is a great book to read while the nights are dark and long. Just ensure you have a comforting hot chocolate to hand!