Bait: A Badgers Crossing by Paul Childs is the second volume in the Tales from Badgers Crossing series of stories from Paul Childs. Aimed at the younger audience, these stories however are hugely entertaining for the older reader. The main strength of these stories is in Child’s ability to capture that sense of awe and wonder we all experience when reading such tales as The Animals from Farthing Wood and, of course, The Worzel Gummidge stories. However, Childs ensures that these stories stand on their own while they tap into that same sense of whimsical folk horror and folk tales of our past; he never once allows these stories to be a rerun of something that has come before.
The relationship between Bert Smallwood and Debbie Carter is a bittersweet one, as SPOILER ALERT Bert dies in the early stages of this book. On the one hand, it is a pity as I loved the relationship that the two of them have as Bert’s death allows for Debbie to come into her own and take up the mantle of the Protector of the badgers. Debbie is a wonderful character, full of heart and a complete disregard for her own safety. She is a headstrong teenager who rises to the challenges that face her.
One of the strongest aspects of “Bait: A Badgers Crossing” is Childs’ ability to vividly bring characters to life. Debbie Carter is a relatable and determined protagonist, grounding the supernatural elements of the story in a way that resonates with readers. The supporting cast is equally compelling, each adding layers of depth to the overall narrative.
The supernatural elements are expertly crafted, immersing readers in a world where legends come to life. Childs’ ability to transport us to the heart of Penlock Forest is nothing short of extraordinary, painting vivid descriptions that tickle the imagination and create a tangible sense of place.
With its engaging storyline, well-developed characters, and atmospheric setting, “Bait: A Badgers Crossing” is a must-read for fans of supernatural fiction. Prepare to be enthralled and enchanted, as this novella leaves you yearning for more from the captivating world of Badgers Crossing.
Bait: A Badgers Crossing by Paul Childs
For over seventy years, Bert Smallwood has cared for the wildlife and flora of Penlock Forest. Now he’s too old and infirm, he asks ten-year-old Debbie Carter, the closest thing he has to a granddaughter, to take on the responsibility.
Tania Hunt has lived her entire life in the shadow of her legendary jewel thief father. When she hears that the forest, and one valuable asset in particular, is no longer protected, she seizes the opportunity to make a name for herself in the criminal underworld.
As Debbie and her school friend Ty Grant make their way to Bert’s cottage for the night, they’re unaware of the dangers – both human and otherwise – that lie ahead.
An exciting adventure with a supernatural edge.
Bait also contains a bonus short story – Eleanor Culpepper & The Crossroads Book.
The Badgers Crossing series by Paul Childs is a collection of books and short stories set in and around the spooky county of Daxonshire. All the stories are linked but can also be read on their own and in any order. The one thing that they all have in common is that each story unlocks a small part of the mystery – why is Badgers Crossing known as The Most Haunted Town in Britain?
Paul’s debut book, Tales From Badgers Crossing, is available from Greenteeth Press. Bait is his first novella in the series and will be followed by a second – The Convergence – later in 2023.