"A Hunter’s Moon" by Danny Weston is aimed at a readership comprising young teens, but is an equally good short novel for adult readers.
What makes "A Hunter’s Moon" such a satisfying book is its setting. Danny Weston creates a believable backdrop against which the story is played out and it’s easy for the reader to imagine the characters inhabiting the landscape and interacting with one another in it. Though set in a distant past, there is sufficient detail to make every scene realistic and to allow the reader to suspend reality and accept that the superstitious beliefs people held at the time were very real to them. There is also a palpable tension which builds throughout the novel, keeping the reader guessing about what's going to happen next.
A fearsome beast is lurking in The Forest of Tay, feeding on the farmers' sheep and leaving them to fear for their livelihoods. When one of them, a farmer called Hamish, takes it upon himself to trap and kill the beast he disappears, believed to have been taken in the night by what some believe is a wolf, but others claim to be the Cù Sìth, a creature summoned by the 'Walkers in the Woods.' Fraser McCloud is sceptical that there are any such mystical creatures, but he agrees, for a price, to help hunt down and kill the beast. Callum, his young apprentice, is apprehensive, but feels he has no choice other than to follow his master into the unknown and into possible danger. Fraser and Callum set off in pursuit of the beast, travelling some distance from their own home in the direction of the forest.
As time passes they hear of more disappearances and killings and a pattern seems to be emerging. Fraser and Callum come to realise that they have turned from being the hunters to the hunted. Can they stop the trail of death and destruction, or will they too become victims of the beast?
Well paced, with plenty of action and intrigue to keep the reader turning the page, "A Hunter’s Moon" is a great read. This reader consumed it in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.