It’s Seb’s last day working in Turkey, but his friend Oz has been cursed. 
Superstition turns to terror as the effects of the ancient malediction spill over and the lives of Oz and his family hang in the balance. 
Can Seb find the answers to remove the hex before it’s too late?
From Kev Harrison, author of The Balance and Below, journey with Seb, Oz and Deniz across ancient North African cities as they seek to banish the Shadow of the Hidden.

Mixing adventure and horror, Shadow of the Hidden tells the story of Seb and his friend Ozzy. Seb is a contractor working in Turkey and has made a friend in local shop owner Ozzy.

Ozzy has been plagued recently by an unknown widow, and law dictates that widows are to be looked after by the community. When the widow demands food from Ozzy and refuses, the woman takes umbridge at this and throws at him a particularly vile curse in her ire. The curse is a very nasty one and Ozzy is visibly shaken as the widow has invoked a Djinn to tear apart Ozzy’s life and subsequently Ozzy’s niece falls into a an inexplicable coma.

In his desperation, Ozzy calls Seb on his return home to London. And whilst not entirely believing in the curse, Seb agrees to help his friend. What ensues is a race against time to find someway to lift the curse.

Whilst its central premise is one that is ultimately quite familiar, Kev Harrison’s Shadow of the Hidden is an enjoyable read, reminding me in some places of The Mummy (which let’s face it is a great film), but also put me in mind of that Denzel Washington film, Fallen, from the nineties for some reason.

Characterwise, for me, I found that the main character, Seb, was a pretty typical character and whilst he was good, I felt he was more of a vehicle for the story that was going on around him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that this was a bad thing at all, and it gave the story a central protagonist that didn’t take over the narrative, which I liked as there is plenty of room for the character to develop. In addition to that Ozzy is a typical side character. For me, it was the character of Deniz that stood out the most in the story.

The book is very much an introduction to a wider story, and it seems that there is a wider arc which I am very much on board with to be honest and would definitely like to see more stories in this world.

One of the things that I liked in this book was that whilst there are elements of horror, they were not central to the story, and in all honesty, whilst at some points, there are mildly gory scenes, it didn’t take over the narrative.

However, the main thing for me was the setting. It’s obvious that Kev Harrison loves that particular area of the world, and as the afterward states the book is set in places where the author actually worked or went to for a space of time. Harrison does a fantastic job of bringing the area alive, not particularly in a romantic way as he does highlight political unrest and the realism of the countries. However, he manages to convey  the love for the country, the culture and the food, making it feel alive and vibrant.

Now we have to mention the food! Food is very prominent in this book, and throughout the story, Kev Harrison peppers the book with descriptions of the various cuisines, which for someone that likes cooking, my gustatory senses picked up on. In fact, there were many times that I was tapping away at google to find a recipe for the things that he described.

I have to say, I enjoyed this book and hopefully there will be another one coming along at some point to sink my teeth into.


Kev Harrison is a writer of dark fiction and English language teacher from the UK, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal where he resides with his partner in crime Ana and their two cat overlords. He’s previously lived in various cities in the United Kingdom, as well as Turkey and Poland. His subterranean horror novella, Below, is out now from Brigids Gate Press, while his debut novella, The Balance, is also available through Lycan Valley Press. His short fiction collection, Paths Best Left Untrodden is available through Northern Republic. His debut novel, Shadow of the Hidden, was published in March 2024 through Brigids Gate Press. His short fiction has been published in a variety of magazines, podcasts and anthologies and he is a staff writer for This is Horror.

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