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The Concrete Grove (The Concrete Grove Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Gary McMahon
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $3.00 (38%)

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Book Description


Imagine a place where all your nightmares become real. Dark urban streets where crime, debt and violence are not the only things to fear. Picture a housing project that is a gateway to somewhere else; a realm where ghosts and monsters stir hungrily in the shadows. Welcome to the Concrete Grove. This deprived area is Hailey’s new home, but when an ancient entity notices her, it becomes something much more threatening. She is the only one who can help her mother as she joins in a dangerous dance with loan-shark Monty Bright. Only Hailey can see the truth of Tom’s darkest desires as he tries to become part of their family. And only Hailey can lead them all to the heart of the estate where something older than this land stirs and begins to wake...

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary McMahon’s fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and US and has been reprinted in both The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. He is the British-Fantasy-Award-nominated author of Rough Cut, All Your Gods Are Dead, Dirty Prayers, How to Make Monsters, Rain Dogs, Different Skins, Pieces of Midnight, The Harm, Hungry Hearts, and has edited an anthology of original novelettes titled We Fade to Grey.

His most recent novel is Pretty Little Dead Things from Angry Robot Books.

Author website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 533 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (January 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully gloomy August 11, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gary McMahon's The Concrete Grove (2011) is disconcerting little standalone - combining the grim reality of urban poverty with the supernatural horror of ageless otherworldly entities. It is, in short, exactly the sort of book you shouldn't read on the tube at night.

"The Concrete Grove" is the accepted nickname for Hailey Fraser's new council estate home. The estate, with the decrepit and towering Needle at the center, is the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder - "the bottom of the pile" as Hailey's mother phrases it. Hailey, 14, is a bright kid and a sensitive one. Although she puts on a brave face, she knows that she and her mother, Lana, are in trouble. At home, Hailey escapes with the television. Outside of her front door, she keeps her head down and walks as softly as possible. Her only real privacy comes when she sneaks into the abandoned rooms of the Needle - a meditative escape under tons of crumbling cement.

Although a pencil sketch of Hailey (smart, pretty, 14 and a bit gothy) makes her sound like the prototypical urban fantasy heroine, she's not actually all that likable. She's strong for her mother's sake - at least, she thinks she's being supportive - but from Lana's viewpoint we see Hailey as distant, uncooperative and very often cruel. The opening chapter concludes dramatically with Hailey blacking out while adventuring in the very darkest part of the Concrete Grove. There are strong inferences of some sort of eldritch possession going on. However sweet she may appear (and honestly, she doesn't seem all that sweet), the book essentially begins with a narrative caveat emptor. This girl is not to be trusted.

Nor are the rest of The Concrete Grove's cast any more trustworthy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars British Urban Horror July 23, 2011
By Bâki
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was always going to find this book an interesting read. I spent the first 23 years of my life on an East London estate, akin in many ways to the North of England one McMahon describes in The Concrete Grove. In fact, during that time I lived on the 19th floor of a tower block very similar to the derelict Needle that lies at the heart of this book's setting. From the moment I heard about The Concrete Grove, I was intrigued to see where McMahon would take his idea for a series of horror novels set in such a location.

Well, what he has done is to create an updated version of those earlier tales that suggest our pagan forebears were aware of hidden primal forces. That ancient rites, particularly those involving ritual sacrifice, were practised to appease or control such forces at specific locales in nature, nodes of power, such as those marked by megalithic stone circles or groves of ancient oak trees. Some of these ideas may seem a little dated in the light of contemporary scholarship, but they were very much in vogue following the release of books such as Sir James Frazer's massively influential anthropological treatise, The Golden Bough, published in 1890. This in turn had an influence on many of the great writers of supernatural fiction working at the turn of the last century.

In the Concrete Grove, these influences are given a contemporary face by placing the primal power node at the centre of a modern council estate. So that here we have the inhabitants of a fractured urban community sowing seeds of despair in a place of ancient power. Needless to say, the fruit of these seeds are shown to be of a particularly malign and twisted nature.

Of the characters in the book, some are of the twisted type, and some are merely broken.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Dare You to Enter the Needle! February 2, 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book opens with this quote: "One of the widespread beliefs is that hummingbirds, in some way, are messengers between worlds. As such they help shamans keep nature and spirit in balance"

Great. Hummingbirds. What's so scary about that you say? Plenty about that is scary, which is why you should read this book.

The Concrete Grove is described as what we here in the U.S. would call the projects. It's an urban area, filled with drug dealers, gang members and violence. At the center of these circularly laid out projects stands the needle.There are things living in the needle.Our 14 year old protagonist, Hailey, is drawn there, to them, for reasons unknown. It turns out that the needle is a sort of gateway, and what is coming through may or may not be pleasant, depending on the viewer. The Slitten are a force to be dealt with. Will 14 year old Hailey make it through? You will have to read this book to find out.

This book is populated with bleak, hopeless characters trapped in a bleak, grey environment. We have a woman, Hailey's mother, fighting to keep their financial heads above water. We have Tom, caring for his obese, paralyzed wife, (who got that way during a rendezvous with her lover.) At the same time we have Banjo, the drug addict and Monte Bright the local loan shark and instrument of mayhem. We won't even talk about Mr. Boater. These characters came alive to me, with all of their flaws and troubles. To me, that's an amazing piece of writing.

I was not aware at the time I bought this book that it was the beginning of a series. It looks as if each book focuses on a different set of characters. I picked up the remaining two books in the series and I am looking forward to checking them out.

Recommended for fans of urban horror and for fans of science fiction type stories with heavy hints of horror!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak
In the start of the book there was lots of mystery etc but overall the plot takes long to unfold and is generally weak
Published 3 months ago by Samantha Reid
3.0 out of 5 stars Concrete Grove
If I start a book I will finish it, but found it did not make me think I can't wait to pick it up again !!!! Not one of my best choices from Amazon
Published 5 months ago by Tish
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive…
Not my usual read, and wow am I glad I tried something new. Great character's, interesting storyline and great writing makes it worthwhile.
Published 7 months ago by NR
4.0 out of 5 stars From "The Horror Fiction Review"
“Estate” is one of those words that can have very different meanings depending on location and perspective. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of the Needle
First of all the cover image is amazing, unsettling and evocative. Now the review. The Concrete Grove is a tightly written novel and a disturbing one. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gemma Farrow
3.0 out of 5 stars what ?
strange story never did understand what was going on. Don't know if it was science fiction or a monster story
Published 10 months ago by Rich Ivie
4.0 out of 5 stars twists and turns
Keeps you guessing the whole way. Develops the characters in an almost psychedelic way. Strange ending leaves you thinking for hours
Published 11 months ago by kentp
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting plot and characters
I really liked the plot and the characters. Well, I should say that I didn't "like" all of the characters, since this book was really about a bunch of characters at their... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not crazy about the ending
I liked this book but wasn't crazy about the ending. I thought it left a few storylines unfinished. I know there are more books in the series and I may try one more to see. Read more
Published 12 months ago by John D Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars A Halloween read
Wish it was less confusing.... characters need to be fleshed out more. Imagery was great. Not a bad book though!
Published 13 months ago by theBeaniegang6
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