la tessitrice

A Cold Season - Alison Littlewood I picked this book up mainly because of the setting - I grew up in a village on the edge of moorland, not too far from Saddleworth itself. There was a lot of promise in the premise but that seemed to be squandered, lost in a sea of cliches. It's rather like transplanting The Wickerman to the Pennines. I hoped the whispers of witchcraft, devil worship and child sacrifice at the beginning were going to be misdirection, leading into something (hopefully) more original. Sadly, it just makes it very easy for the reader to figure out what is happening far ahead of the protagonist, Cass.Despite this I still found there were a lot of questions left unanswered (what the hell were the creepy dolls?) and some scenes in retrospect appear to have been added purely for creepiness but don't make much sense when considering the reveal (in particular, one scene with a lot of rats).The writing is solid, if not incredible, but not much actually happened. Cass spent an awful lot of time walking around the village or in the flat, pondering what was going on, and while this was probably meant to increase the feeling of isolation and build the suspense, it just slowed everything down. Also, a couple of nitpicks I had: First, that a little village like this seemed to have so many shops, but only one church and no mention of a pub. If the village is big enough to have its own primary school, it would have one or two pubs, but the shops would likely be relegated to one general convenience store place, possibly combined with a post office. I know this because all the villages around the one I grew up in gradually lost their shops and their post offices. People have cars, they'll go to the nearest supermarket, or get a home delivery. Secondly, who on earth decides to go walking off over moorland in winter? Moors in wet weather are basically peat bogs, which act like quicksand if given the chance. Any paths over the moor would be completely covered by the snow. And yet we had characters talking like it was no big thing.It's a shame because I had such high hopes.