How I learned The Truth About Krampus by Tom Johnstone. Book review

Eibonvale Chapbook Line #3, £12 h/b, £6 p/b

Reviewed by Ian Hunter

But is it really the truth? Or are we in the hands of a unreliable narrator? One who is cunning and trying to cover up their involvement in two murders, that of a woman and a baby boy? Or are they insane, believing what they say is true? Or is it really true and Krampus is out there? That horned, half-devil figure who appears on 5th of December on Krampusnacht, with a bundle of birch sticks ready to beat some discipline into unruly children.

Daniel Fletcher thinks so, as he writes a letter to his partner Bella, laying it all out on the table in a 31 page letter. All his insecurities about his relationship with her, his doubts and fears, and his other fears since he went abroad to investigate a discredited paper and try to meet the man who wrote it and discuss his theory that Krampus really exists, but is like the Abominable Snowman, in a species he calls Homo Saturnalius, which exists in the mountains. If only he hadn’t found that shredded tent and the carved figure inside it.

Despite that theory Fletcher has other things to worry about, particularly the disappearance of a baby boy called Zac. The police think Fletcher killed him, especially since there are no footprints in the surrounding snow. No-one has come, and no-one has gone from the house the baby was in. The police think Fletcher burned the child in a fire to get rid of the body, that’s why he is glancing nervously at the wood-burning stove, but Fletcher is more concerned with the chimney rising from the stove. Why? Read and find out, then make up your own mind about Fletcher’s letter – fiction, insane ramblings, or…