Look Out For… Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory
Oliver Gooch comes across a tooth, in a velvet box, with a handwritten note from 1888 to say it’s a tooth from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. He displays it in his new bookshop, and names the store Poe’s Tooth Books. Oliver took the money from his small daughter Chloe’s accident insurance and bought a converted church to live in with his altered child and wife. Rosie hopes Chloe will came back to herself but Oliver is secretly relieved to have this new easy-to-manage child, and holds at bay the guilt that the accident was a result of his negligence. On a freezing night he and Chloe come across the crow, a raggedy skeletal wretch of a bird, and it refuses to leave. It infiltrates their lives, it alters Oliver’s relationship with Rosie, it changes Chloe. It’s a dangerous presence in the firelit, shadowy old vestry, in Poe’s Tooth Books. Inexorably the family, the tooth, the crow, the church and their story will draw to a terrifying climax.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Stephen Gregory’s previous book for Solaris, The Waking That Kills was a sublime piece of dark fiction full of unsettling imagery and complex, well-drawn characters. We have high hopes for more of the same in the author’s latest book. Gregory’s writing is concise, seemingly without a word that doesn’t feel like it had to strive to earn its place in the text, and his themes and ideas linger long in the mind after the book has been returned to the shelf.
This Book Will Appeal To: People who like their fiction to be unsettling and populated by well developed, interesting, but flawed characters.