My Favourite Book of 2016

At the time of writing this post, Goodreads informs me I’ve read 87 books (so far) this year. I’ve decided that the final post of 2016 should celebrate the book which I’ve enjoyed the most. I’ve read lots of excellent novels this year, but there has been one which really stands out, by an outstanding author…

…which is Magda, by Sarah England.

Book Description
The dark and twisted community of Woodsend harbours a terrible secret – one tracing back to the age of the Elizabethan witch hunts, when many innocent women were persecuted and hanged.
But there is a far deeper vein of horror running through this village; an evil that once invoked has no intention of relinquishing its grip on the modern world. Rather it watches and waits with a focused intelligence, leaving Ward Sister, Becky, and Police Officer, Toby, constantly checking over their shoulders and jumping at shadows.
Just who invited in this malevolent presence? And is the demonic woman who possessed Magda back in the sixteenth century, the same one now gazing at Becky whenever she looks in the mirror?
You may need to sleep with the lights on after reading this…Are you ready to meet Magda in this final instalment to the trilogy? Are you sure?

My 5* Book Review
This is one of the easiest 5* ratings I’ve ever given a book. I have enjoyed all three books in this series, but this has been my favourite, and the best book I’ve read so far this year.

Sarah England gives anyone who is thinking of writing a horror story a masterclass in how to do it properly. She hasn’t been given the title The Queen of Horror for nothing! The building of suspense, the tension, and the creepy atmosphere that seeps out of the story all go to make this a brilliant, intriguing book.

This is my favourite kind of horror. It stays in your head when you’re not reading the book, and leaves your imagination to fill in the gaps from the information given by the author when you are. Also, the characters, their relationships to each other, and their battles against evil are all really interesting – especially those of Ruby and Alice.

Part of me felt some degree of sympathy for Magda. Used and abandoned, she turned in a direction where she thought she’d find support, but it led her further into darkness. I liked how some of the chapters were devoted to Magda back in the 1500’s, and how events in Woodsend began. I thought the ending was very clever – a little reminder from the past to all those involved in Ruby’s case. Does this mean there could be more books in this series?


In a previous post this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah. You can read the interview here. Father of Lies, Tanner’s Dell and Magda can all be found on Amazon via Sarah’s author page.

Sarah has kindly offered a signed paperback copy of Magda to someone in the UK, or a free kindle copy to someone outside of the UK. To win a copy of the book, all you have to do is leave me a comment with the answer to the following question:
What is the occupation of Toby in all three books of this series?
A. Electrician
B. Paramedic
C. Police Officer
Good luck! A winner will be chosen at random and I’ll notify Sarah, who will then contact them to organise sending the book. The competition will be open until 3pm 28th December.

COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED. Thank you to all who entered. The winner will be announced here and on Facebook later today…

…and the winner of a signed copy of Magda is Sarah Hardy. Congratulations Sarah!

Merry Christmas to everyone, and I hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year.


17 thoughts on “My Favourite Book of 2016

  1. You have again made me a good book suggestion Mark.

    As I have not read the book I cannot answer the question, but many have answered as Police.

    Do I have a chance to win?

    Happy New Year Mark.

  2. Great review, I haven’t read it yet but have it on my kindle so hope to read in the next few days as I loved the other two books.

  3. Hi Mark
    I’m going for policeman.
    I love these books as well. I’ve got Magda to read in my list. Spooky goodness!
    Close to you with books as well I’ve read 89! Just got to 90 yesterday haha

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