Dead Branches by Benjamin Langley


When Thomas Tilbrook receives a letter telling him that his estranged father is dying, he realises it’s finally time to go back to the Cambridgeshire Fens. But going back evokes memories of the last time he saw his father—memories that he can’t entirely trust.

Thomas remembers the summer of 1990 like it was yesterday: long hot days in the sun, watching the World Cup on TV… and his best friend John going missing.

He remembers how the silence of the adults had forced him to investigate what had happened to John with his brother and cousins. After all, who knew the hidden pathways and secrets of a village better than they did? Could it have been the local bogeyman Shaky Jake? Could one of the creatures on his deck of horror cards have been responsible? Could it be the dead tree with the sinister smile that watched him from a nearby field?

…or could the truth be closer to home and far worse than he could ever possibly have imagined?