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The Hunger Trace

by Edward Hogan

This earthy tale of obsession and infatuation, switching between farce and tragedy, links four people made isolated outsiders by past events. Set in rural Derbyshire around a wildlife park, they are thrown together as the natural world turns from a tamed source of solace into an uncontrollable force of destruction. Enjoy the company of these eccentric, but thoroughly engaging characters, as they forge new relationships in rather surprising ways.

Extract

The issue of the park's safety had been raised at the Parish Council meeting, and certain villagers were only too pleased to drum up panic. The stories resounded and grew, and by the time they got back to Maggie they were garish: dogs went into gardens to do their business and came back missing an ear: cats, if they came back at all, did so with acute nervous disorders and started pissing on the carpet. The Rileys said they saw something like a wolf in their garden and Mrs. Nettles reported a giant bird in her apple tree, although no birds had escaped ....

Reverend Sipson had killed the arctic fox in his Peugeot. He had the decency to bring the body to Maggie, wraped in a tartan blanket. It had looked to him, he said, like a discarded bathmat, until it stood, late and alert against the left headlight. When she knelt to open the blanket on the doorstep, the red blood on the white fur - which was almost blue in the dropping light - reminded her of the fairy tales of her childhood. 'I'm so very sorry,' Reverend Sipson said. The man who had buried David. She looked up at him.
'It wasn't your fault, Reverend. She was blind.' Maggie rubbed her eyes. 'I don't know what to do.'
'Shall we pray?' he said.
'I don't think she was religious,' Maggie said, pulling the blanket over the dead fox.

Parallels

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
Vacant Posession by Hilary Mantel
 

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