When Thomas Treadwater returns from the Civil War, a mighty storm batters England. His father lies catatonic in his farmstead. The livestock lies dead. And his sister, Esther, accuses the new servant of witchcraft and improper conduct with their father.
A sceptic of the paranormal and mindful of the excitable accusations of his sister, Thomas looks into the matter. He soon finds that superstitions mask an ancient, incomprehensible evil that has awoken.
60 years later a comatose woman lies in a locked attic of a lonely farmhouse. Outside, a storm is brewing. And now she is awake.
Darkly dripping evil with every page, the Leviathan rumbles like one of the Great Old Ones from Lovecraftian stories. It’s a slow burner but in the absolute most satisfying way. Thomas Treadwater, a sceptic, is the perfect hapless protagonist who follows a breadcrumb mystery trail to an ancient and terrifying conclusion.
The Leviathan feels like one of the biggest releases of the year. It’s awesome in its execution and perfect pacing. What starts out as a witchy is she/isn’t she? mystery novel darkens and darkens into something bigger, something so malignant and powerful that you really shouldn’t be anywhere near whether you’re a sceptical protagonist or not.
It’s hard not to include spoilers for this one as it would be best-read with no prior expectations. The beauty is in the unravelling of the story that grabs your attention in its coils before squeezing tightly. I loved when the crescendo that had been rolling all the way through delivered a huge payoff. We have biblical-level stakes which are then somehow eclipsed by the impossible choice that has to be made at the very end of the story.
This is scarily good. And don’t even get me started on how incredible that cover is.