Black Ash Swamp has given birth to a new or perhaps very ancient legacy; a curse that has befallen upon a small town in Connecticut: The Hookman of Black Ash Swamp. A curse dating back to the ancient Indians and early pioneer explorers… The Hookman is a mythical swamp creature with a very unique power. When he hooks people, they don’t just simply die. Anyone who encounters The Hookman vanishes completely, so no trace of their life is left. Anything they’ve ever owned, anything they’ve ever written, anything they’ve ever done, disappears and no one knows they’ve ever existed. Not even their own parents… Zachary Hartman is a popular boy in the sixth grade. Even though he is a year older than Lynn, they become fast friends when he rescues her from being eaten by a huge snapping turtle. Yet Lynn is unable to save him when The Hookman emerges from the water and scratches Zachary’s arm. The wound is far more serious than it appears. Zachary keeps vanishing from sight against his will. He and Lynn are in a race against time to confront The Hookman and kill him before Zachary is gone and forgotten completely… Debut novella 162pgs, 30,000 words 3X published SNM Mag Author
The Hookman will pull you in right from the very first page!
In many ways this book gave me more chills than an adult horror, which I wasn’t expecting when I first picked up the book. It’s the first time in a very long time that I’ve read from the points of view of children and I occasionally wished the main characters were older. But then I really thought about it and I can see why the author chose such a young age to base her characters; it gives a certain naivety to the Hookman, but also shows us that children can love and children can be strong.
I really enjoyed the writing style, Ms Bernard keeps the story at a perfect pace, she writes a lot of build up, but not so much that you get bored. To top that the outcome is totally worth the wait!
The Hookman offers some terrifying foes and will leave you wanting to read more from Hayley Bernard. An excellent read!
About the Author
Hayley Bernard is a short story author, a novelist and poet. Several of her short stories have appeared in SNM Horror Magazine, including Severed Ties, The God Worshippers, and Black House. When she’s not frightening readers with her writing, she could most likely be found dancing the night away with friends at a hot Philadelphia club…or just painting calmly in her studio apartment. She resides in Pennsylvania by way of Connecticut. This marks her debut novella as an author.