Flo's vast home, Nerthus House, may resemble a stately vicarage in an idyllic village, but the labyrinthine interior is a dark, cluttered warren filled with pagan artefacts.
And Nerthus House lives in the shadow of a malevolent secret. A sinister enigma determined to reveal itself to Jess and to drive her to the end of her tether. Not only is she stricken by the malign manipulation of the Vicarage's bleak past, but mercurial Flo is soon casting a baleful influence over young Izzy. What appeared to be a routine job soon becomes a battle for Jess's sanity and the control of her child.
It's as if an ancient ritual was triggered when Jess crossed the threshold of the vicarage. A rite leading her and Izzy to a terrifying critical mass, where all will be lost or saved.
Folk horror in a modern day setting is something that I always find a little unsettling, which was certainly the case with The Vessel.
I have read other books by Nevill in the past and had high expectations for this one. The author absolutely did not disappoint.
The main character is trying her best to find a new life for herself and her daughter, but her abusive ex, Tony, has other ideas. His role seems small at first, but as the story progresses, he plays a much larger role.
Nevill's work always seems to worm under my skin, and this was on display again with The Vessel. There are some genuinely creepy moments throughout, leading up to a blistering ending.
5 stars out of 5