‘Cackle’ – Rachel Harrison

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this in advance of publication. Cackle is not necessarily what I would deem horror (and I’m unsure why someone might regard it as such) but it does use witchcraft to explore the theme of friendship and it has plenty of good-humoured moments.

Our main character has been dumped by her boyfriend. She moves to a new town, where she knows nobody, and is befriended by Sophie. Sophie is beautiful, glamorous and everyone in the town seems in thrall to her (though some are happier about this than others).

As Annie settles into her new routine, she starts to feel more and more indebted to Sophie. She heard rumours about her new friend, and when she is gifted a spider as a housewarming gift we know there’s something odd about her.

The question soon becomes about how quickly Annie is prepared to accept these changes to her life. She veers between desperate to salvage her previous existence and determined to forge a bright new path. Ultimately something of a middle ground has to be found, but Annie learns what is important to her and what boundaries she is prepared to put in place to live her life.