Synopsis: Adam Strong has two main problems in life: how to keep the gang from the local council estate out of the woods where he has his den and how to get the new girl at school to notice that he exists.
But the ancient woods next to Compton Fosse contain more dangers than just the risk of a beating from the town’s teenage psycho.
Hidden in Hobthrush Wood is the key to a mystery that weaves four disparate stories into a single web.
* The mansion: A gang of professional robbers mount a night raid on the secluded country home of a reclusive billionaire.
* The dead: Three decaying bodies, wrapped in plastic and chains, are found lying at the bottom of an ornamental lake.
* The convict: A sex offender is released from prison but breaks his parole and goes on the run after giving into temptation once again.
* The friends: Two boys stumble across an eerie secret…
I give this 4 stars.
I had no idea what to expect from The Vault but soon found myself greatly enjoying this multi stranded tale which brings you into the life of school boy Adam Strong and a very real feeling account of being at school and dealing with friends, bullies and girls!
Adam’s interactions with his mum, his friends and the girl of his dreams are all very well constructed and believable; he is a character that it is easy to empathise with.
Hobthrush Wood sounds like a wonderful place, I can see why he is so drawn to it. What a haven for a boy his age to be able to retreat to and call his own. I felt genuine anxiety when the gang from the estate started to encroach on his special part of the woods.
The different storylines aren’t confusing, they simply make you want to keep reading to get back to the character you’ve just left behind.
I’d love to read more about the reclusive billionaire and his life, that sounds like an interesting story of it’s own! I loved his house and all its secret security measures and hope there’ll be a book all about him soon.
My only critism would be that there should be some indication that one of the threads is historic as it isn’t immediately obvious although I guess the author intended it to be that way.
Hats off to Huw Thomas as proceeds from the sale of this book go to worthy charity Shelter Box, and if you look here on his own blog you can enter to win a copy of the book (and other goodies) and make a donation to Shelter Box yourself.