Reviewed by Annika
TITLE: Guardians of the Haunted Moor
SERIES: The Tyack & Frayne Mysteries #5
AUTHOR: Harper Fox
NARRATOR: Tim Gilbert
PUBLISHER: Audible Studios
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2017
LENGTH: 5 hours 43 minutes
The wedding is just the beginning…Gideon and Lee have spent a year in chaotic married bliss, with all the trimmings – a dog, tricky in-laws, and a baby girl they both adore. But even the best of lives can be fragile, and a shocking family loss hits their new world like a demolition ball.
Gideon has little energy left to investigate a murder that’s taken place in the fields outside Dark. He still has his duties to his community, though, and with Lee at his side, he begins to unfold the mysterious death of Farmer John Bowe. It’s harvest time, ancient West Country magic in the air, and rumors are flying through the village of an enemy Gideon thought he’d left behind long ago.
Can the beast of Bodmin possibly be real? Everything in Gideon’s stoical police-sergeant’s nature says no. But Lee has taught him to see the world differently, and now they must pool their resources to unmask a killer before more lives are lost – and somehow find a way to mend their shattered family, too.
I thought I knew what was coming, but I really didn’t. I didn’t expect that at all. This book will break your heart, so you might want to have a few tissues handy before starting it.
While reading and listening to this series I’ve been thoroughly invested in every word of this story. I’ve loved, laughed, worried and been creeped out all along with our friends in Bodmin Moor. But I can’t say the books have left me reeling, they have not been angsty or emotional on that rollercoaster level. They’ve always had that warm, cosy mystery feel to them, but with a haunting and creepy edge. This book though? This book will gut not only you, but each and every one of the characters we’ve come to love and care for. You will feel the pain Lee and Gideon are going through, wonder why right alongside with them and wonder if they will ever be happy again.
Though this book is more angsty than the rest of the series, what shines through the most is unwavering love. The love between Gideon and Lee is indescribable. I truly don’t have words to describe it but I’ll try to muddle through. If you’ve read the books, you will know what I mean. And if you haven’t, you’ve truly missed out on something wonderful.
Their love is something that is unbelievable strong, you can almost see it in front of you as a physical bond between them. And you know that old cliché about two people completing each other – well that’s Gideon and Lee. Together they make a whole. The struggles they face in this book make them stronger and you just know that nothing can ever tear them apart. They are it. Come hell or high water, no matter what, they will stand strong together. Together they can face anything.
I find the town of Dark to be a fascinating place. So intertwined by legends and stories of the beast of Bodmin yet at first glance it seems like any other small English town. But secrets run deep and so do the stories about guardians and beasts. The townspeople and the legends are so intertwined and part of each other that at times they can be hard to separate from each other. Or to tell if they really are as they seem? And what does the beast really want? I just love the atmosphere of these books and I just can’t get enough.
As always, Tim Gilbert makes this a book a true joy to listen to. He nails the creepy/haunted feeling that Fox’s words create and he brings us a story about love, loss and hope. Highly recommended!