I always love to read original books by new authors. I especially like it if I gel with the author's style and uniqueness. Sheep is one of those books. The author was also born in the same town as I was - double whammy.
It has been compared to Ian Banks and The Wasp Factory and I can see why. It certainly is dark fiction - savage, disturbing, chilling with hints of the supernatural and possibly ghosts, plenty of terror and a fair share of horror.
It is set in the tranquil atmospheric landscape of rural Wales (extra bonus for me) and there aren't many people there, but they are well-rounded characters and - lots of sheep. The story builds tension from the beginning with clues about dark events from the past, some known, others to be discovered. Great dark theme and symbolism reinforced by the landscape and weather. Well written, great psychological thriller. Definitely one of my favourites.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen much from Simon Maginn since this debut novel, which is a great shame. His writing style is easy and gripping and I will look out for more of his work industriously from now on. You should too.
Published by Corgi in 1994. It is now out of print.