Tyack & Frayne: Once Upon a Haunted Moor – Harper Fox
Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.
But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.
Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.
Cornwall is a place I often meet in literature with its moors and fogs and craggy hills. Living in a tropical country and never been abroad, sometimes I find it hard to imagine what the whole Cornish countryside looked like. Harper Fox, who is probably a Cornwall native, gives a good sense of the place and atmosphere in this first Tyack and Frayne novella. The cover also perfectly captured that walk in the desolate countryside. The mystery was straightforward and not so complicated. The main characters were likable and there’s a dog too. Overall, a nice, cozy, spooky read.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
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