…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.
But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.
Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.
From the very beginning, I was utterly captured by this story. Maybe it was that lonely trek across the English countryside to visit the family of an abducted girl. Maybe it was the vibrant, descriptive words, or maybe it was simply that haunting cover. I can’t tell you why, exactly, but I can tell you I’m forever a slave to the quaint little village called Dark (how apt!), to Gideon Frayne and Lee Tyack, and–without a doubt–to Harper Fox.
Boy, oh boy, do I love a good mystery! A girl’s been taken from her family. Is she alive? Dead? There are several possible culprits, but nothing is clear, and coupled with the story’s eerie locale and the old wives’ tales of monsters living in the countryside–oh! plus the strange things that keep happening to MC Gideon—and you’ll be biting your nails to the end.
You might think Gideon is this simple and very dedicated small-town copper, but he’s a man with unfulfilled dreams, too. He’s a work in progress, but he’s not quite aware of that yet, not until Lee comes along.
Gideon wants to dislike MC Lee–he’s not interested in Lee’s clairvoyant arts–but nothing about Lee makes anybody dislike him. Lee’s handsome, charming and kind. He’s a nurturer, a giver, and once Gid and Lee connect, they’re a force unlike any other; they bring out the best and brightest qualities in one another. These two are PB&J, mac and cheese. They go together as perfectly as any canon m/m couple you care to name.
I loved the “who-done-it” quality of Once Upon A Haunted Moor, but it wasn’t ever in my face. The mystery was a winding, lazy river that carefully delivered me to the end. From the town, to the MCs, to the secondary characters (shout out to the lovable dog, gah!), it was over so quickly, I never even had a chance to worry it was almost over. I had no other choice but to move on to the next book. (There are four books in the series so far; my thoughts on the other three books coming soon!)
I think what dazzled me so much was the writing, truth be told. Harper Fox is a novelist for the thinker, I’ve decided, but she cares about us simple-minded folk, too. This is a tale with layers. It was ethereal and tingly, timeless.
Once Upon A Haunted Moor is one of those series that simultaneously robs and rewards you. It robs you of your time, your attention, your family, your life. It rewards you with its rich, captivating plot, its commanding, understated MCs, its twists and turns, its appetizing conclusion.
If you’re already a fan of Fox but you haven’t yet read this series, go for it, like, now. I sincerely hope you’ll be dazzled, just like me.