Review of The Wildest Hunt by Jo Zebedee

A few years back I was driving from Dunlewy to Church Hill (where the story is set). It was a wet and windy day. I looked up to my left and saw someone way, way up on the hillside, in mountain goat territory, sheltering behind a rock outcrop. Bring a nosy sort of a person I stopped and took out binoculars to get a better look.
What I saw was an auld fella sitting down reading the newspaper in suit trousers and a shirt; with the sleeves rolled up. How or why he got up there is a mystery I will never be able to solve. But there ya have it, strange things happen in that neck of the woods.

The Wildest Hunt is the latest novel by Irish author Jo Zebedee (Dec 21). Jo is arguably the person most people think of when Irish and Science Fiction crop up in the same sentence. I’ve no connection with the author but am posting a review here because of the Irish Sci-Fi connection.

The short of it:
A fast paced tale of folklore and the supernatural set in modern day Donegal.

One sentence description:
A shiny new modern day píseog; appease those faeries or take your luck as it comes!

Three mugs of coffee, six mince pies, and a charcoal sketch of a demon.

What happens?
You get to hear/ see/ imagine a banshee. This time honoured herald for death jumps in right from the gun (so hopefully this doesn’t count as a plot spoiler), and from then on there is no mistaking that things are heading in a supernatural direction.
You are transported to a midwinter county Donegal during a particularly cold spell. I was trying to figure if this was based on the 2010 spell -at the time the weather was a drama in itself (all the local roads become impassible, can remember thinking it was the perfect set up for a horror). The weather is central to the story.
The plot focuses on two couples as they attempt to deal with a timeless supernatural enemy. The story takes you from a modern setting into what feels like an alternate reality.
The action is evenly paced and builds nicely into a dramatic showdown.

Who will enjoy the book?
I think this is a story for all comers (with the exception of young children -the baddies are scary enough for nightmares). Anyone who lives in or visited the area will also get a kick from going on a surreal adventure in a familiar setting. It is an easy read, and perfect for a dark midwinter night.

You can pick up a copy of the book here:

The author’s website is here:

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