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The Hidden People

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  622 ratings  ·  123 reviews

The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling mystery - w here superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences

Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to dead on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand gl

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Jo Fletcher Books
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3.29  · 
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 ·  622 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
I don’t remember buying this, but it found its way into the house somehow, given the subject matter perhaps there’s a more mysterious explanation! This isn’t horror, gothic may be a good description (nonsense may be another!). It deals with superstition and myth and is set in the mid nineteenth century. Albie Mirralls (the narrator, a rather irritating and pompous young man) meets his cousin Lizzie only once in 1851 at the Great Exhibition. Ten years later Lizzie is burnt to death by her husband ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m always up for a good changeling story, and Alison Littlewood is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Thus when I found out about The Hidden People, I saw this book as the perfect place to start. There’s no doubt that the story is utterly atmospheric, full of the kind of beautiful, exquisite detail that slowly creeps up on you. Littlewood also writes wonderfully and has a flair for bringing a historical
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
4 stars

I’m very fond of a faery tale. Being Welsh, I’m a little more familiar with the mythologies of the Old Celtic countries than English folklore, but both seem to overlap on a key point: their depiction of faeries as wild, elemental, not-entirely-benevolent beings. This book goes one step further, dealing with old country folklore and looking at the flaws in the human condition, seeming to ask whether it is humans themselves who are the most inhuman of all…

Character: 4/5

Albie is not the most
I love the cover of this book. I really really do and it was one of the main reasons I chose to request this book on NetGalley (Thanks!)

While I have to admit that it was what felt the longest 384 pages, the novel did deliver a certain charm. The writing is similar to 19th century classical books and that’s well done because the story is set in the 19th century. The descriptions of inns, village life and mannerisms covered the historical fiction aspect to a T.

So, yes, the writing was well thought
Olivier Delaye
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully well-written story about fairies and changelings and other superstitions deeply rooted in the English folklore that takes its sweet Gothic time to move along but eventually gets there. Recommended on a cold winter night beside a crackling fire with hot tea aplenty!
Karen Mace
I received a copy of this via the publishers and NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.

Worthy more of 3.5 stars than just 3.

I was intrigued by the stunning cover and blurb when first seeing this book as I'd not read the authors previous work, The cold Season, but had heard many good things about it.

This is the creepy story of Albie and his obsession with his cousin Lizzie, who he met only the once at the Great Exhibition of 1851, but she always remained on his mind, so when he learns
Kurt Douglass
I saw this book recommended in a "best horror novels of 2016" list, which is how I first learned about it. But it lacked the suspense and dread required for horror, and even the few truly macabre elements were more sad than scary. Frankly, this book is as bit of a mess: it’s a hodgepodge of various folklore, depictions of Victorian life in the country and the city, class commentary, interior dialogues, dream sequences, stock characters, and amateur detective work. I think Littlewood was trying t ...more
A well written story meticulously researched with a hint of wuthering heights. A strange tale based on a murder by superstitious villagers in a remote village in Yorkshire, who believe in the fair folk and are convinced that their children are taken and replaced with changelings.
Set in 1851 at the opening of the Crystal palace with excellent writing and portrayal of simple country life with regional accents and old English words and sayings that had me looking them up in a dictionary for their
David Harris
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm grateful to the publisher for an advance copy of this book.

I've come to look forward to a new ghost or horror story from Alison Littlewood as an Autumn treat, timed to come alongside the smell of bonfires, falling leaves and of course the darkening evenings. The Hidden People - while set at the height of Summer, indeed, in a place where it is always Summer - doesn't disappoint although it's a departure for Littlewood, being set in the past, the mid Victorian age.

Albie Mirralls is the son of
Josie Jaffrey
I have very mixed feelings about this book, and I can't get to the bottom of them without spoilers, so don't read on if you want to avoid them!

I enjoyed the beginning of this novel, when I thought there was (eventually) going to be a supernatural element. The premise seemed intriguing: a city man, rational to his core, thrown into the countryside where people believe in fairies to such a degree that a man has burned his wife to death in order to force the fairies to return the 'real' her. He wo
Charles Prepolec
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mid-Victorian Gothic novel, Byronic Romanticism and the 'Female Gothic' appear to be alive and well in the carefully crafted pages of Alison Littlewood's THE HIDDEN PEOPLE. It's an elegantly crafted novel that plays wonderfully with 21st century psychological horror themes, while simultaneously conjuring up the literary spectres of both Arthur Machen and Emily Bronte, and then wrapping them within the superficial framework of The Wicker Man. It's one hell of a juggling act, yet Littlewood ne ...more
Allie Riley
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Albie Mirralls is an insufferable snob, a sexist pig and believes himself to be entirely rational. On learning of his northern cousin, Lizzie's untoward death by fire, he leaves his London home (soon followed by his wife, Helena) to visit the village of Halfoak to pay his respects and attempt to solve the mystery of her death. He is not, I suspect, the world's most reliable narrator, and he gets swept up in the susperstitions and folklore of the villagers in such a way that he does not see the t ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, other, ebook
I received this book for free from NetGalley in return for an honest review and I forgot what section I found this in. My usual genre is fantasy, not mystery, which made reading this book a pretty great experience.

Albert, a gentlemanly Victorian Londoner, heads to Yorkshire when he hears about his cousin being burned to death by her husband because he thought she was a changeling. At first Albert just wants to sort out his cousin's affairs, spurred on by a sense of guilt that he ignored her whil
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With such a gorgeous cover and an intriguing synopsis, I was super excited to read The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood. Slow to build, the pacing was problematic enough that it knocked the rating down two stars to three. Other than the pacing, the characters and story itself were absolutely fantastic! An amazing mystery that messes with your mind and keeps you wondering what is happening from start to end.

The characters were extremely interesting a
Angela Smith
Jul 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, historical, mystery
When I ordered the ARC copy of this book it was the blurb that drew me in. A pretty young woman is burned to death on her hearth, her husband thinks she is a changeling. It was a much different experience from what I was expecting.

Re-wind to a brief moment a few years earlier when the dead woman (Lizzie Higgs) meets her cousin (Albie Mirralls) at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and leaves an impression on him with her mild ways and beautiful voice. She left quite an impression on him in that one me
H.E. Bulstrode
An Adult Fairy Tale without a Fairy-tale Ending.
In The Hidden People, Alison Littlewood has woven a lyrical tale of enchantment, delusion and jealousy, in which urban Victorian rationality collides with lingering rural folk belief, with neither emerging unscathed. Whereas the much-lauded The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry aspires to explore these themes and fails to deliver upon its promise, this cannot be said of Littlewood’s The Hidden People, for it is by far the better-written and more satisfy
Luke Walker
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one a lot. It's an atmospheric tale with a sense of things not being quite right rather than outright horror. Definitely recommended if you like your uncanny fiction to get under your skin.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring, repetitive garbage, a disappointing train-station purchase.
Roisin Hobson
I received this book free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The blurb sounded interesting, and didn’t quite occur to me until after I was approved to read it that it was classed by Amazon as a horror. I am not good at scary books, so I did approach it tentatively after that. I feel like my own nervousness made getting into the book difficult; however I was soon hooked despite my cowardice!

Despite my own inability to focus, this novel was very good and definitely had an interesting
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot....

The Hidden People was a book that I heard about back in May at the Headline and Quercus Autumn highlights event and I was very intrigued to read it.

Lizzie Higgs has been burnt by her husband who believed her to be a changeling, a fairy who was not part of this world. But is she actually a changeling as her husband thought she was? When her cousin Albert hears of her death, despite having only met her once, he takes it upon himself
Very atmospheric and suspenseful in a slowpaced way. I was totally expecting a mindboggling plot-twist somewhere along the way, but it kind ended up with a little fizz instead of an explosion. It's actually more fitting to the slowpaced style of the book. There's also this interesting ambiguity to the story because it's told in first person view by Albie and most of the time as a reader I get the feeling that I can't completely trust his narrative. (Or you can completely trust him and then it wo ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, arc
I received a copy of ‘The Hidden People’ from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was the first book by Alison Littlewood I’ve ever read, I knew nothing of her previous works and unfortunately after reading ‘The Hidden People’ I don’t have too great an interest in reading them, I’m not saying that I won’t but it is very unlikely.

I’ve seen ‘The Hidden People’ compared to Susan Hill’s ‘The Woman in Black’, a book I love however for me this lacked any tension that ‘The Woman in Black’ h
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many stories that are very dark and gothic but this one was all that and so much more. A lot different from some of the creepy books I've read this month but a lot more spookier. The Hidden People is very gripping and a story you just want to read until the end, even if it does give you the chills.

Set in the 1800s - Albie has only met his cousin, Lizzie, once when he was younger. But, the news of her death saddens him and makes him question what happened to the wonderful girl he
S.P. Moss
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Hidden People' is a wonderful, intricate and absorbing novel. It's a book I felt completely immersed in, and didn't want to climb out!

The novel is a huge accomplishment on many levels. It feels completely authentic, both in the speech patterns of the middle-class Victorian characters, as well as those from rural Yorkshire. On top, and maybe more importantly, the thought processes of the narrator, Albie, seem completely credible as those of a youngish, slightly pompous Victorian rationalist.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author's writing is beautiful and prosaic, fitting the time period perfectly. The unreliable narrator point of view allows plenty of suspense and questioning by the reader.

The first person point of view means that we don't as learn much about other characters as we might have done from a different viewpoint, but stylistically, it fits the story. I would like to have learned more about Helene and Lizzie, rather than just as the shrewish wife and near-perfect cousin.

My only real issue with i
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-purchased, 2016
This book was absoloutely fantastic. I found the subject matter quite disturbing and a bit horrifying in places but that doesn't take away from the fact that it kept me up reading later than I should have and that I couldn't put the book down. I loved the way it was written in the style of the time it was set in and how the characters really did embody the sense of etiquette and behaviour of the time. The main character was well written and displayed both admirable strength and pityable weakness ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder, favorites
This was hauntingly beautiful and deliciously creepy. While it took some effort to decipher some of the dialogue, I was so engrossed by the plot that I couldn't put it down. I had an inkling about a third of the way through of what the author was going for, and even then, I was oftentimes caught off-guard by just how enchanting and grotesque it was.

The horror in this is deeply psychological, and that's usually my favorite kind of horror story. The only place it falls a bit short for me is in the
Anna Kosovac
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Albie Mirralls travels to the village Halfoak after finding out about the peculiar death of his cousin, Lizzie Higgs. He finds the town steeped in superstition, the townsfolk believing Lizzie to have been a changeling. Albie explores Lizzie's death further, descending into obsessiveness over the murder, and uncovers a bitter secret hanging over the town.

Set in the mid 19th century, this book harks back to the old gothic novels of the time. It is all consuming, and consistently tense throughout.
Priya Sharma
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Hidden People" in the story of Albie, who is haunted by Lizzie, his country cousin whom he meets at the Great Exhibition. On hearing of her death ( she was burnt by her husband), he leaves his wife in London and travels to Yorkshire to find out more.

The book is clearly well researched, drawing on the emerging science and modern ways of thinking as they clashed with local folklore and myths of fairies and changelings. There's a real ambiguity in some sections that reminded me of "The Turn o
Yoshay Lama Lindblom
Read it a while ago and I just loved it. I have always been into novels that invest in atmospheric details and I received plenty of it here. Changeling is a subject that I had only heard about vaguely and it was extremely fascinating to read a whole book about these Hidden People. Very satisfied with this read and I look forward to more works by the author
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Alison Littlewood was raised in Penistone, South Yorkshire, and went on to attend the University of Northumbria at Newcastle (now Northumbria University). Originally she planned to study graphic design, but “missed the words too much” and switched to a joint English and History degree. She followed a career in marketing before developing her love of writing fiction.

Her first book, A Cold Season (2