New fiction: Mr Splitfoot

Eithne Farry introduces the darkly brilliant third novel from Samantha Hunt


New fiction: Mr Splitfoot

Samantha Hunt’s third novel heads pell mell into some dark, brilliantly strange territory.

Ruth, who doesn't speak, takes to the road on an ill-defined mission, pulling her smart, pregnant, much younger niece Cora along in her silent, insistent wake.

Decades ago Ruth grew up in a care home run by an eccentric religious fanatic. She and her orphan cohort Nat talked to the dead, escaped from unsettling cults and cosied up with a con-man.

In the present day, however, things are getting increasingly surreal as grumpy nuns, feral children and the inhabitants of run-down houses can testify.

Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (Corsair, £16.99) is out now