Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.
Witch in the ditch
Jude and Ashley are best friends. Inseparable from a young age, the duo has found themselves a constant victim of the local bully gang headed by the worst of the worst, Ricky Dalca. When a particularly nasty incident sees the teens fleeing the chasing mob they end up jumping into Devil’s Ditch. Named by the town due to rumors of hauntings, the teens decide to explore the area only to discover an abandoned farmhouse. As they venture deeper into the dilapidated structure they discover the unthinkable – a woman – naked and chained down to the floor in what appears to be a ritual circle. The teens set out to rescue the woman who calls herself “Rose”, but when a search by the local police comes up empty, they are accused of playing a prank. Not to be deterred, Ashely and Jude set out to unravel the mystery of the woman in the farmhouse. As they delve into the history of the house in the woods, they uncover a Pandora’s box of murder, betrayal, and revenge that is best kept buried.
Billed as the first of a new series of novellas dubbed “The Cursed Manuscripts” Wright has again delivered with a story as entertaining as it is sinister. Not an awfully long story, Witch drew me in from the very first page, held my attention, and left me wondering what was going to happen next even after the story had concluded. Based on the teaser blurb for this series, it appears that these “manuscripts” will serve as a series of unrelated accounts of strange happenings that have occurred across the globe since December 2020. While I am still not clear how Witch and all subsequent installments in the Cursed Manuscript series will piece together, I trust Wright has a master plan in play that will be well worth the wait.
Read it as a short stand-alone thriller but stick around for the next manuscript to be discovered. If this is only the beginning I can’t wait to see what Wright unleashes in this series next.