'I didn’t want you to come here.’ So says the note that the boy Edmund Hooper passes to Charles Kingshaw upon his arrival at Warings. But young Kingshaw and his mother have come to live with Hooper and his father in the ugly, isolated Victorian house for good. To Hooper, Kingshaw is an intruder, a boy to be subtly persecuted, and Kingshaw finds that even the most ordinary object can be turned by Hooper into a source of terror.
In Hang Wood their roles are briefly reversed, but Kingshaw knows Hooper will never let him be. Kingshaw cannot win, not in the last resort. He knows it, and so does Hooper. And the worst is still to come … This extraordinary, evocative novel boils over with the terrors of childhood and is a chilling portrayal of childhood cruelty and persecution, of parental blindness and of our own ambivalence to what are supposed to be the happiest days of our lives.