reviewed by Sheena Alizadeh
Little Eve is Catriona Ward’s first novel that has been republished after her success from The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial. The book showcases her ability to write different subgenres of horror.
“What has happened here? A terrible thing.”
Little Eve takes place on an isolated isle in Scotland called Altnaharra in the 1920’s. While delivering meat, Jamie MacRaith finds five dead people with their right eyes removed. The story then unfolds by alternating between Evelyn and Dinah during different time periods.
“A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”
Dinah and Evelyn are “sisters” who are a part of a family led by their “Uncle” where they are preparing for the coming of Adder, the end of the world. This family is actually a cult who performs strange ceremonies and rituals to prepare for the end of the world but also inherit special powers to survive. A lot of what they have to do is gruesome and disturbing but they will do what they must for honor.
“A screaming begins. The cacophony of a hundred thousand voices shouting instructions in an alien tongue. I have no choice; my blood and nerves have become the voices. If they told me to fly into an open fire I would do it. I am not one but many, feeding the great, combed entity of the hive.”
Chief Inspector Black is sent to investigate the murders and the families life is turned upsidedown. The story is definitely atmospheric with a very dark, gothic and gloomy feel to it. Our characters feel hopeless and trapped but also rely on each other as they are all they have. You can feel the dread and horror within each page as the characters go through the events that take place. Catriona Ward excels in keeping the twists hidden and unraveling them slowly throughout the story. The twists will leave you surprised up until the very end.
Thank you to Tor Nightfire and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.