‘Landlines’ – Raynor Winn

In this third book we see Moth’s condition has worsened. He struggles to prune the trees in the orchard, and feels unbalanced when walking. Having previously seen the restorative power of walking, the decision is made to undertake a walk they’ve always dreamed of.

Perhaps when you are at your low points, and feel there’s nothing to lose, you can find the inner strength to do something that might – by any stretch of the imagination – seem crazy. However, when packaged in this way the walk from Scotland to Cornwall does offer a chance to reconnect with nature, the opportunity to reassess what is important and the time to test one’s resolve in the face of some very challenging circumstances.

As someone who enjoys walking I truly admire what Raynor and Moth have done. As someone who also detests midges, sore feet and heavy rain, I read most of this book feeling I was reading about some kind of personal hell. 

Throughout the book I found myself quite taken by the obvious love of nature and the focus on how we as a race are slowly destroying the world we inhabit. The signs are there of damage to our environment, but these are signs that we are not in a position to heed while engrossed in the small stuff that occupies us so much of the time. Having walked some of the areas they cover in their route, I also found myself recollecting my own walks and how they’ve impacted me. The little connections made along the way – particularly when taking place immediately after COVID lockdown regulations were being eased – were touching, but each of these moments also highlights the shifting attitudes towards walkers/the countryside that seem to be taking place.

It left me with a definite sense of wanting to finally get round to reading The Salt Path – clearly a defining read for many, though each seems to take their own ideas from it – but I’m also wondering if buying husband a copy of this to read might be a mistake! The bug will hit him hard after reading this

‘You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight – Kalynn Bayron

Pure pulp, and I loved it! 

If you know horror, you know the rules. For Charity, her role as the final girl in a simulation based on a well-known slasher movie has clearly defined elements. Playing her part well keeps the money rolling in, and prevents her having to spend time at home. It helps that she keeps finding ways to refine her craft to give the guests the terrifying thrill they seek.

Unfortunately, this season things don’t go quite to plan.

Charity is struggling to keep the act going as three of the staff have left without warning. There’s threats from a woman who lives in the woods and the local sheriff is unconcerned by their reports. It’s down to Charity and her friends to try to survive the night when they realise they really are playing the game.

From start to finish this was pacy, full of knowing nods to the genre and included a lot of gore. The whole story behind it was even more creepy, and I found myself surprisingly fond of Charity’s final opportunity to resolve matters.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this before publication.