What’s 70% police procedural, 20% Arthurian fantasy and 10% supernatural horror? The answer is Kingsrise, an unusual and sophisticated novel by Anne Mattias.
Set in a town on the west coast of England, the story follows DI Niamh Khalid as she investigates a series of strange apparent murders. The fantasy element is introduced in a very subtle manner and it’s not until the halfway point that things are definitely not your usual crime thriller. Niamh has her own problems – a younger brother who’s been in trouble with the law and who may be involved in what’s going on, a former relationship with the local news reporter, the stress of her job – but she does her best not to let her emotions affect her sense of justice. The police side of things seemed carefully researched and it was interesting to see how this clashed with the forces of the fantasy world breaking through into our contemporary times. The characters were believable and well-developed. There were genuinely scary moments and the tension rarely let up.
A recommended read if you’re looking for something different.
Independently published in 2023.