The Horror of Dunwick Farm

The Horror of Dunwick Farm

By Author / Illustrator

Dan Smith, Chris King



Age range(s)



Barrington Stoke




Paperback / softback




A mystery is growing at Dunwick Farm and it all started with a plane crash ... Crooked Oak's mystery-solving team return with another spine-tingling adventure, perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Crater Lake.

When an unidentified plane crashes in the fields next to Dunwick Farm in Crooked Oak, it quickly becomes clear that it was carrying some unusual cargo.  As people in the town fall suddenly ill and animals start behaving strangely, friends Pete, Krish and Nancy try to find out what was in the glass boxes on board the plane. But as they uncover the facts, the trio realise that they are becoming entangled in a terrifying web...

Enjoy The Crooked Oak SeriesThe Invasion of Crooked Oak (book 1);   The Beast of Harwood Forest (book 2)The Horror of Dunwick Farm (book 3); The Terror of Hilltop House (book 4)The Creatures of Killburn Mine (book 5)



When a plane crashes near to the village of Crooked Oak, Pete, Krish and Nancy are drawn in to their most dangerous and horrific adventure yet! The plane has crashed not far from Dunwick Farm, where Krish lives with his family. Its not long before odd things start happening – cats are going missing, goats are screaming and the birds have stopped singing. The children link the plane to a BGen, a company doing medical research using illegal exotic animals, including a rare species of spider - that has now escaped....

The Horror of Dunwick Farm is the third adventure for Pete, Krish and Nancy, and is by far the most horrific! The author builds up the tension throughout the opening chapters beautifully, drawing the reader into the story. I particularly loved the opening of Chapter 8 when the author describes the absence of the dawn chorus. Everything is silent 'It was as if Dunwick Farm was holding its breath'.

The chapter describing the capture of Rashmi by the spiders is truly scary; the image of spiders swarming over her may be hard for some younger readers to take in. As the story unfolds, the novel gathers pace and sweeps the reader on towards a thrilling conclusion. As well as writing a barnstorming horror story, the Dan Smith also raises some interesting questions about animal testing. The spiders' venom could help a lot of people – including Pete's mum, who suffers from debilitating back pain. But should we allow this to happen? Krish says 'They should stop messing about with nature' and Pete replies 'But they took it for research. That makes it all right, doesn't it?' The conflict felt by the children is an integral part of the story.

Published by Barrington Stoke, this well written and cleverly plotted novel is aimed at dyslexic and reluctant readers, but will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good horror story. The atmospheric illustrations by Chris King are a perfect addition to the book, adding a real air of shadowy menace to Dan Smith's words. Highly recommended – although not to arachnophobes! 

120 Pages / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


Other titles