The darkening - Stephen M. Irwin This will put you off walking in woods for life!

After the death of his wife in London Nicholas Close returns to his Australian home town and his mother's house, a haunted man in more ways than one. The town has changed very little since he left including The Woods. In his childhood they were the scene of the murder of his best friend Tristram.

The Woods have a bad reputation in the town, parents warn their children not to go near them and people deliberately go out of their way so as not to pass by them. It is this, hinted at, creeping malevolence that make this such an atmospheric downright creepy read.

Nicholas' return seems to stir the malignant force in the woods and as Nicholas arrives, a young boy is brutally murdered in the woods in similar circumstances to Tristram's death. The reader discovers that this mysterious co incidence is anything but...but is part of a pattern that has been playing out in area for generations.

“The woods were alive… Something inside the trees had sensed him, tasted him on the cold air. Recognised him.”

Brilliantly written with strong, well drawn characters and a interesting plot that draw you in but it is the descriptions of those deep, dark haunted woods and their denizens that deliver the shivers.

Having said that I did want to shake Nicholas more than once and tell him to pull himself together!

Loved the primordial/pagan spin on this one, Blair Witch and The Wickerman spring to mind and the twisty ending seriously caught me out...wasn't expecting that!

Suspend your disbelief and go into 'There are more things in heaven and earth' mode and you will be rewarded with a deliciously, creepy 'crawly' story.