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Hungry Hill by K J Sargeant: A book review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Blurb: The derelict farm Hungry Hill has always been viewed as something of a local legend amongst the people in the towns and villages surrounding it. They say it’s got an appetite – hence the name – a spot where unexplainable things happen and people, young girls in particular, go missing. Nothing official has ever been found amiss in the area, but Erin and her boyfriend should have heeded the warnings, as they find themselves at the mercy of the farm’s reclusive owner and his twisted nephew, Dominic.

Meanwhile, Detective Grace Buchanan is haunted by nightmares that feel like memories. Her time on the Edinburgh metropolitan has almost entirely been defined by death, twisted sights that the human mind can’t so easily compartmentalize and rationalise. So, when she’s called in to aid with the disappearance of Erin, and the many others who have vanished around Hungry Hill, she assumes the worst. Still, even those pessimistic preconceptions aren’t enough to prepare her for the true horror lurking in plain sight on that derelict farm.

As Grace attempts to find some semblance of justice in a situation that’s increasingly spiralling out of control and her nightmares become a reality, she finds herself going to extreme measures and warring with the darkness that rages inside her.

My thoughts: I was sent a physical copy of this book for an honest review.

I read the book and then after reading the blurb again just now, I feel that the blurb doesn’t fit the story well. Here is why…

  • “The derelict farm Hungry Hill has always been viewed as something of a local legend amongst the people in the towns and villages surrounding it” – It’s mentioned I think once, in a conversation between two people. Plus, the farm is called Cherry Tree Farm.
  • “Erin and her boyfriend should have heeded the warnings, as they find themselves at the mercy of the farm’s reclusive owner” – We follow Erin and her boyfriends story at the beginning of the book, and their story ends pretty quickly. It is the reason why the story involves the detectives but there is more of a story with Sophie and Nathan and they are not even mentioned in the blurb.
  • “…farm’s reclusive owner and his twisted nephew, Dominic” – erm, the reclusive owner is a woman, Violet Thorndyke… so shouldn’t that read “and HER twisted nephew”?
  • The “haunted by nightmares that feel like memories” part is not really explained very well. There is a chapter which ends up being a dream but there isn’t really a back story to this at all. I was particularly confused when Chapter one ended with “and then the chief mentioned a cold case she’d been involved in” but this was not explained at all.
  • Finally, the part of the blurb that says “She finds herself going to extreme measures and warring with the darkness that rages inside her” – the extreme measures last one or two chapters and the darkness that rages inside her isn’t built up at all within the book.

That’s enough about the blurb anyway. I do want to focus on the book as I did enjoy the story overall. It started off very confusing but a few chapters in and I feel like the first few chapters – the confusing ones – could be taken out altogether.

The book is 215 pages and has 70 chapters. I don’t know why it was laid out this way but the constant changing of location/character may have something to do with it. I’m not saying that the constant changing is a bad thing, because it really works for this book and it is quite unique in the sense that you read from multiple viewpoints; the victims, the killers, and the detectives. I have to admit though, I’m a ‘one more chapter’ kind of girl, so I think these extremely short chapters helped me get through the book quicker. Saying that, the story line also helped me get through the book at a fast pace – I was hooked and needed to know what happened.

I think the word ‘poetry’ comes to mind when describing the authors use of the English language to describe the scenes but also the thoughts in the characters minds. I did struggle with some of the metaphors but overall I imagined the descriptions well.

I’m a romantic girl, and I think that even in horrors, there is always room for romance. I would have liked to have seen more of a romantic development between Maddox and Buchanan as I think this would have helped with character likability, something I struggled with in this book. However, I very much disliked the villains so I think the author did a cracking job of building their characters.

I can imagine this being a good horror movie. I don’t watch many as I get scared easily but this has a very ‘hill billy’ vibe to it.

This has got to be one of my longest book reviews, and it is very mixed. I do recommend that you give this book a read as the story is a thumbs up from me. I just feel that the book needs a bit of work to be less confusing in the beginning and that the blurb needs to be edited to fit the book better / or the book needs to be longer and the story developed further.


Hungry Hill is available on Kindle Unlimited UK. Also available as an Ebook for £2.31 (price correct date 19.03.2021) or as a paperback for £6.99 (price correct date 19.03.2021) here: HUNGRY HILL eBook: SARGEANT, K. J. : Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

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