A new novel set around Marlborough’s iconic Devil’s Den steps is set to hit shelves next month and has already gained some promising reviews.

Sorrel Pitts’ Broken Shadows has been described by critics as a ‘breathtaking psychological suspense novel’ which draws readers into its Wiltshire setting with ease.

The story follows the abduction of 11-year-old Callum from Wiltshire in 1994, whose body is found six months later by older brother Tom near a Neolithic henge called the Shadowing Stones.

Tom’s family is slowly torn apart by the police investigations, suicide and mystery that follows, and three decades later, shocking situations lead Tom back to England to discover the truth that will change his life forever.

It’s not surprising that the landscape is captured with such ease, as renowned author Sorrel grew up in the ancient rolling fields of Wiltshire, which she says has had a huge influence on her writing.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Author Sorrel Pitts is currently residing in Wiltshire where she grew up.Author Sorrel Pitts is currently residing in Wiltshire where she grew up. (Image: Bloodhound Books)

“This book is set in Lockeridge and centres around The Devil’s Den stones on Marlborough Down, made famous by Thomas Hardy’s short story ‘What the Shepherd Saw’,” she explained.

“Despite having praise lavished upon it by all the big publishers, the novel has had a very hard road to publication.”

The Devil's Den, located on Fyfield Hill just off the A4, originally formed the burial chamber of a Neolithic passage grave.

Local tradition says that if water is poured into the hollows on the capstone, held up by two standing stones, a demon would come in the night and drink it.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Broken Shadows has been described as a ‘breathtaking psychological suspense novel’.Broken Shadows has been described as a ‘breathtaking psychological suspense novel’. (Image: Bloodhound Books)

Sorrel is not the first in her family to have been inspired by the Wiltshire landscape surrounding her.

Her father, film producer, journalist and novelist Denis Pitts, is known for making the infamous BBC Omnibus programme ‘What the Hell Ever Happens in Marlborough?’ which aired in October 1969.

But Sorrel’s latest novel is backed up by her own extensive and successful career, having published her debut novel in 2011 as well as working as a commissioning editor for Macmillan Publishers and editorial manager for Oxford University Press.

Her debut novel, The River Woman, was described by Sir Michael Parkinson as “a fascinating story written by a very promising writer," and Sorrel hopes that her latest work, published by Bloodhound Books, will receive the same praise.

The book will hit all major bookstores on February 6, 2024, and for a chance to meet the author herself and get a signed copy, you can attend a book signing in Devizes Books on February 17.