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Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt


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Highly Recommended.

This is a cunning and genuinely creepy horror novel. That it is a debut makes its imagination and control all the more impressive. Heuvelt is a name to watch. Fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill and Adam Nevill have a new author to look out for. Hex is set in Black Spring, a small and isolated American town. Its isolation is readily explained by the fact that it is haunted by the Black Rock Witch, the spectre of a seventeenth century woman with eyes and mouth sewn shut. What’s clever about the way Heuvelt treats this horrifying idea is that he recognises that the bizarre and the terrifying can be incorporated into our lives if it becomes familiar enough. Black Spring knows it’s ghost. Family dinners and family wrangles continue around her presence (however unsettling that might be for the reader). What is more scary is the paranoia and the control that the older townspeople exert of themselves and any bewildered visitors to ensure their secret is kept. This is a very modern horror novel in that CCTV and social media are as instrumental to the plot as ghosts. And it is social media that spins the horror out of its tight orbit in this novel when Black Spring’s teenagers ensure the secret gets out into the wider world. Early scenes in this novel sometimes leave you wondering what is happening but the plot and Heuvelt’s darkly witty writing soon sweep you up. Supernatural terror and the gulf between the young and the old make for a very entertaining read. ~ Simon Spanton


Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

The greats of fiction Stephen King and George R. R. Martin lead the fanfare for HEX, so be assured that Thomas Olde Heuvelt's debut English novel is both terrifying and unputdownable in equal measure. Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die. The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.


'A wicked witch holds an upstate New York town prisoner. This is totally, brilliantly original.' -- Stephen King

'A great writer, the next genre superstar' -- Paul Cornell

'HEX takes the horror/thriller genre to a whole new level. It's deeply unsettling, wholly original, brilliantly written and contains scenes that will haunt you for a long time to come. I dare you to read it.' -- Sarah Lotz, author of THE THREE

'Spielbergian in the way Heuvelt shows supernatural goings-on ... a fabulous, unforgettable conceit.' Guardian

'HEX is reminiscent of vintage Stephen King, and I can think of no higher praise. Chilling, moving and, in its odd way, not a little profound.' -- John Connolly

'A truly terrifying parable about mankind's depravity ... the story is not merely unsettling, it is horrifying ... read it if you dare!' Kirkus Reviews

'Olde Heuvelt's HEX sets ancient magic against contemporary technology to create a kind of dark fairy tale that seems ultimately believable in today's world. A terrific debut novel.' -- Jeffrey Ford

'Hidden tensions and human weakness trigger a witch-hunt that boils over into persecution, scapegoating and a shocking denouement. A powerfully spooky piece of writing.' Financial Times

About the Author

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Dutch novelist Thomas Olde Heuvelt (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories of the fantastic. His short fiction has appeared in English, Dutch and Chinese, among other languages. He has been awarded the Harland Award (for best Dutch fantasy) on three occasions, and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. In 2015 he won the Hugo award for Best Short Story. Olde Heuvelt wrote his debut novel at the age of sixteen. He studied English Language and American Literature in his hometown of Nijmegen and at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Since then, he has become a bestselling author in The Netherlands and Belgium. He calls Roald Dahl and Stephen King the literary heroes of his childhood, who created in him a love for dark fiction. HEX is Olde Heuvelt's worldwide debut. Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th August 2016


Thomas Olde Heuvelt

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Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


384 pages


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Horror & ghost stories



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