Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
SJI Holliday’s debut novel, Black Wood is a chilling psychological thriller that is a deeply unsettling story of wicked deeds, complex allegiances and confidences that should be kept hidden.
Only Claire and Jo know what happened in Black Wood and both girls suffered a great deal of trauma as a result. Claire can no longer actually remember what took place and no one believes Jo’s story. More than two decades later Jo is reminded of the incident when whilst working a familiar face turns up and refuels her once hidden need for revenge on what happened long ago.
At the same time an investigation is taking place after a mysterious man wearing a balaclava is attacking women near a disused railway. But what is the connection between the two incidents? It is down to Sergeant Davie Gray to find the link and to also stop Jo from doing something that she will regret.
I have to admit that I am personally not a big fan of psychological thrillers. Although having said that, Black Wood is a rather creepy, well-written debut that no doubt will win legions of fans. It is atmospheric with curious characters with an ingenious storyline. In Black Wood, SJI Holliday has written a story that is not only dark, devious and menacing but also a tale of discovery, reprisal and deceit. It is coupled with a number of revelations that will put a chill down your spin. This is an assured debut that readers of psychological thrillers will love.