Cold Boy's Wood

Hardback edition released 01/04/2021

by Carol Birch

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Thriller and Suspense eBooks of the Month Crime and Mystery Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Cold Boy's Wood

At once elusive and intense, this suspenseful psychological mystery teems with ghosts from the past as a body is unearthed in a rural village.

Subtle in style and fierce in characterisation, Carol Birch’s Cold Boy’s Wood is a haunting psychological enigma. Exploring the flux and fallibility of memory, and the effects of loneliness on the human spirit, the novel is a puzzle, of sorts, as two flawed and damaged characters are confronted with long-buried secrets when a mudslide unearths a body outside their village.

Visiting his mother’s grave near the site of the mudslide, Dan observes “Ravens. The wet nose of the pregnant doe. A body returned to light. Things falling into sequence. All these things seemed significant.” Embittered, often drunk, and scared stiff by the supernatural, he’s disturbed by a sound in the darkness and locks up. Then there’s Lorna, who lives nearby in the ancient woods that have called her since she saw a strange “cold boy” here as a teenager. The boy haunts her still, along with her past, as she watches Dan, and helps him when he collapses drunk, all the while delivering a feverish internal dialogue. Both of them provoke intrigue, their lives entangle, their stories haunt and pierce to the end.

Joanne Owen

Cold Boy's Wood Synopsis

Fusing the ghost story with sharp, psychological insight, this is a brilliant and timely novel about loneliness, buried secrets and the havoc they play on the mind from Booker-shortlisted author Carol Birch.

Did you hear? Big landslip over by Ercol. Last night. The road into Gully's closed off. They found a body. Got police tape. All that stuff. They only do that for murder, don't they? Murder!

A body has been uncovered in a mudslide just outside the village of Andwiston. In the pub they talk of murder, but Dan - sometime mechanic, constant drunk - is finding it hard to sift through his jumbled memories. Watching him from the dark is Lorna, a lost soul living in the woods, haunted by ghosts and a vision from her childhood: a cold boy standing alone in Gallinger's field. 

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781838939410
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Author: Carol Birch
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 352 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
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Closing date: 10/07/2022

"The past is not just haunting Thorne, it’s hunting him in this read-in-one-sitting thrilling crime novel." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer The Murder Book, the latest in the Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham is out now and to celebrate, we working with Little, Brown Book Group to offer you an opportunity to win a book bundle of the complete Tom Thorne backlist. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 10 July 2022. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Carol Birch Press Reviews


'Birch is a naturally literary writer who can, with a simple image, evoke the deepest emotion' Guardian.

'Carol Birch's fiction continues to stretch bodies and minds to breaking point ... Marvellous and terrifying' Sunday Times.

'One of the best stories I've ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book' A.S. Byatt, on Jamrach's Menagerie.

'Her prose has an irresistible vigour ... Her words sing on the page' Financial Times.

'Her candid northern voice cuts sadness free of sentimentality and finds intensity and drama in the everyday' - The Times

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781838939434
Publication date: 11/11/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781838939410
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781838939403
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Format: Ebook

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About Carol Birch

Carol Birch is the award-winning writer of twelve novels, including Jamrach's Menagerie, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011. Her first novel, Life in the Palace, won the David Higham Award for Fiction (Best First Novel of the Year), and her second novel, The Fog Line, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Born in Manchester, she now lives in Lancaster.   Author Photo © Johnny Bean

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