Author: Graeme Cumming
Published by: Matador Books on Mar. 16, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.
“You know what they are, don’t you?”
A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences.
And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.
In the darkness of his bedroom, he wondered for a moment whether the drums had just been part of a dream. Then he heard something familiar from downstairs. The rhythmic rattle of a latch hitting a strike plate. It was the sound his mother regularly complained about when he came in from playing and didn’t close the door properly. Someone had left a door open, and it was swinging back and forth in the night air.
Sitting up in bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. In truth, the sleep was illusory, the pause an unconscious effort to give him a moment to rein in his emotions. And those were wide and varied, covering a range that ran from puzzlement to fear. He realised it must be the middle of the night. The only illumination was the faint glow of a nearby streetlamp through his curtains. So why would his parents leave a door open?
His bed was close to the window, so he pushed the bedclothes back and knelt up, leaning forward to lift a curtain to one side. The street was deserted. Looking to the left, he saw no sign of life. To the right, there was barely enough light to see anything. Just one streetlamp 50 yards away, then nothing.
He had hoped a quick look outside might explain everything, but it didn’t. Now he had to face the prospect of getting out of bed and negotiating the darkness of the house. And the first thing he had to concern himself with was the crocodile under the bed.
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