There is a scene towards the end of the book that turns out to be the climax of the hunt for the missing child. The three mysterious men who have been travelling the road that Holme and his sister have been wandering along are discovered in a glade having found the tinker and the infant.
The tinker is not in the land of the living anymore and the child has been rolled too close to the fire at some point and has half of his face burnt and is missing an eye.
Holme attempts to act with indifference but when he is told to hand over the child he does so without too much resistance and then watches as its throat is cut and one of the men then plunges his mouth into the fatal wound.
The sister arrives but too late to find anything other than charred bones and a scene of desolation. The tinker has become the fodder for the birds and the journey comes to an end.
But the book doesn’t come to an end until there is a literal metaphor about the end of the road and the dangers of being blind to the dangers of the road. In a sense it reminds you of The Road with the echoes of cannibalism and the road leading nowhere but to death.
A review will follow soon…