Little Eve by Catriona Ward

One wonders what must go on inside the mind of Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street. She is able to write the most macabre yet imaginative, horrific stories.

Take Little Eve for example. This was a story actually written prior to her success with Needless Street. At the time Little Eve not only came out to accolades, but awards as well. So, it was only fair that it should be re-released for those Needless Street fans who had never heard of it.

In a dilapidated castle on an island named Altnaharra near Scotland lives the most messed up group of women, children and one man. Saying this clan is some sort of cult would be putting it mildly.

Adder, the male leader is the master who makes all the decisions, eats the best and most leaving crumbs for the rest and punishes the others with incredible cruelty as they all await Adder’s claim that the end of the world is near.

Little Eve, one of the young children, looks at Adder and sees his power. She wants that title. She will stop at nothing, endure all the torture thrown at her in order to make that happen.

Known as the outcasts in the town due to their dirty appearances and potato sack clothes, the children are incessantly mocked and tormented by the other children at their school. And when a school leader is murdered, it’s the family of Altnaharra who are blamed for instigating.

Which then brings Chief Inspector Black into the picture. He takes a liking to Little Eve as she reminds him of his sister who passed away at a young age. He seems to understand the mess on the island and tries to make her see there is a world outside of the pain and suffering she endures. She does begin to see through a different set of eyes but feels hopeless as to what to do about her situation.

Adder will not tolerate this kind of thinking and abuses the others as well as Eve for even questioning him about the outside world and how they actually all ended up where they are now. He tells them they will be given a reward when the end comes.

But curiously the story opens to all at the castle being dead and Eve missing. Through a series of horrific flashbacks, we see the horrible abuse and physical violence brought on by an unwell man to others who know no other way. We see the despair they live in on a daily basis. As the story progresses, but there are so many unsettling questions.

Who killed them? Where is Eve? Where did this group come from? The twisted conclusion which is seen through their eyes will send chills down your spine.

Thank you #NetGalley #TorNightfire #LittleEve #CatrionaWard for the advanced copy.

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