The Green Man’s Foe, by Juliet McKenna

Contemporary rural folk fantasy / horror. As regards her first in this series, The Green Man’s Heir, I’ll say the sequel is either better, if you didn’t like the first one, or even better if you did. The itinerant woodworking half-dryad, half-mortal hero Daniel is hired to oversee the restoration of a gloomy, moldering old pile into a modern trendy spa hotel. Unfortunately there’s something nasty in the water – literally. A nix, specifically, whose malign influence has corrupted the local Aleister Crowley wannabe, who in turn is corrupting the youth of the town. I liked that dealing with the nix takes time and effort, but is still over in a couple of chapters when they finally get to it; dealing realistically with the juvenile delinquents takes longer. Juliet does not subscribe to “the devil made me do it” as a convincing excuse for wrong doing. The plot is more linear, the hero more likeable, showing unexpected maturity, depth and compassion when it comes to handling the kids. Worth a read.