By Thomas Olde Heuvelt,

Book cover of HEX

Book description

The greats of fiction Stephen King and George R. R. Martin lead the fanfare for HEX, so be assured that Thomas Olde Heuvelt's debut English novel is both terrifying and unputdownable in equal measure.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked HEX as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This novel was not what I was expecting. It was dark and provides an interesting commentary on human behavior. The town of Black Spring and its locals are cursed. If someone is born there, or moves into the town, they’re doomed to stay until they die. If they try to leave and never come back, they’ll die. The town is also home to the Black Rock Witch, whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. She’s been there since the town was cursed in the seventeenth century. The town was cursed because people did terrible things. The novel takes place during…

Some claim the Small Town Horror subgenre is dead, but HEX argues otherwise. Set in a New York town haunted by a witch who both wanders the streets and invades living rooms, HEX depicts the daily struggles of families who can’t escape town without becoming consumed by suicidal thoughts. This book had a strong influence on my novel, in which people risk losing certain body parts if they leave the local area.

From Brandon's list on small town horror.

On the surface, Hex is a basic horror story about a witch who terrorizes a small town; a town in which residents can never leave. Seems ordinary for a horror, right?

What makes this one disturbing, though, is an internal conflict. No, I’m not going to spoil it, but I’ll say that the conflict is one that no parent of multiple children would ever want to confess to having.

From Ty's list on disturbing horror stories.

I was obsessed with this book for a long time because I love a narrative built around curses and witches. A small Hudson Valley town is haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. In parts both chilling and profound, it works on a deeper level than your average ghost story and is richer for it. 

From Daisy's list on provoking a sense of dread.

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