Greed as it usually does smashes the world of the Blackwood sisters as their cousin Charles comes to try and rob them blind and steal as much as he can to restore his own fortunes. Of course he hides that ambition but the reader can clearly see that the naive girls are sitting ducks for their ruthless relative.
Without wanting to give away the ending the point that this book makes very well is that fear is often in the mind of those imagining the crimes and the horror. Collective fear is the danger here not poison most of the time. In some ways it reminds you of To Kill a Mockingbird the way the children demonise what they don’t understand. Here it is an entire village bar a couple of people.
There is also a complex relationship between the sisters that Jackson manages to convey in very few pages. Constance is perhaps the last real Blackwood victim here as she is taken to the moon by her dreamy sister and kept there.
The crowd scenes when it borders on developing into a lynch mob leave you in no doubt that ignorance and anger can be chilling when left in the wrong hands.
A review will follow soon...