The Old Religion by Martyn Waites reviewed

The Old Religion Book Cover The Old Religion
Martyn Waites
June 14, 2018

WELCOME TO THE DARK HEART OF CORNWALL . . . 'Waites brings all his storytelling talent and experience to this chilling tale' Lee Child 'One of the very best crime writers we have' Mark Billingham He was running from his past. She was running from her future. Sometimes helping a stranger is the last thing you should do . . . The Cornish village of St Petroc is the sort of place where people come to hide. Tom Killgannon is one such person. An ex-undercover cop, Tom is in the Witness Protection Programme hiding from some very violent people and St Petroc's offers him a chance to live a safe and quiet life. Until he meets Lila. Lila is a seventeen-year-old runaway. When she breaks into Tom's house she takes more than just his money. His wallet holds everything about his new identity. He also knows that Lila is in danger from the travellers' commune she's been living at. Something sinister has been going on there and Lila knows more than she realises. But to find her he risks not only giving away his location to the gangs he's in hiding from, but also becoming a target for whoever is hunting Lila.

Tom Killgannon is something of a mystery at the start of The Old Religion by Martyn Waites. What we do know is that he is a barman in a north coast Cornish village and it is out of season. It is clear that he is not just that from quite early on however what will that mean for some of the residents of St Petroc? A young student goes missing from a surfer community there and then Lila, also in that community, goes missing too. Are these events connected? And who or what is Morrigan?

It was a great start to this book for me. I found it so atmospheric, catching the out of season coastal village perfectly. I know places like that. While not overly descriptive I got a good feel of the place. For all the sometimes “normal” atmosphere there is always a darker undercurrent around. There may be those who won’t like the “old religion” aspect of this book. I was perfectly happy with it. I guess I felt it was more ominous when it was not being talked about than when it came out into the open.

I found The Old Religion that was far easier to keep reading than put down! There are good characters, the pace is good, it’s dark and tense – what more can you want from a thriller type of story. There are twist and turns and things revealed and concealed. For me there is no doubt that Tom is the leading character here. As a foil Lila is good and brings extra to this story. Other characters also worked well and are more than up to the story. This is a very enjoyable read.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review