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Riverflow was published by Honno, in June 2019, and was chosen as Waterstones Welsh book of the month in August 2019.

He defends himself against a world he resents by retreating from it.

She still dreams of changing the world.


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In a village in the Welsh Marches, the undercurrents are as dark and strong as the River Severn. After a beloved family member is drowned in a devastating flood, Bede and Elin Sherwell only want to pick up the pieces and pursue their off-grid life in peace. But when a local landowner applies to start fracking near their smallholding, they are drawn in to the frontline of the protests. Mysterious threats and incidents begin to destroy trust, rake up the past and threaten their future together. Who is trying to ruin their world and how far will they go?

Here are some online reviews of Riverflow:

“A haunting borders tale […] a charming mystery, filled with love for the countryside alongside the grief both for loved individuals and the threats to rural beauty.”

Read the full review at Nation.Cymru

“A compelling story, contemporary and relevant with its strong environmental messages, combining mystery and long-hidden family secrets with elements of a psychological thriller – I thoroughly enjoyed this one.”

Read the full review at Being Anne

Wonderful descriptions of nature and a keen eye for the dynamics of life in a small community.”

A Summer Reads pick on Isabel Costello’s Literary Sofa. Read a guest post and her review here.

“Layland is a very capable craftswoman and the creation of her credible – and believably irritating – characters, the thoughtful rendering of landscape and weather, and her decision to address some of the keenest issues of our times, all deserve praise. […] a very engaging and enjoyable read.”

Read the full review at New Welsh Review

“Once you allow yourself to be borne away on its tide, you’ll find it is full of compelling concepts, interesting insights and sensitively portrayed characters. Above and around them, Nature in its glory, at once benign and unforgiving, as central to the story as the vicissitudes of the women and men featured in it.”

Read the full review at Thriller Books Journal

“Menace and intrigue walk hand in hand through the pages, adding a sharp edge to the tale. […] Aa fascinating, thoughtful, and compelling tale with real bite.”

Read the full review at Lovereading

“Both an environmental call to action and an interpersonal drama story [that] draws you into the action and mystery and naturally leaves you to wonder how you would react given similar circumstances.”

Read the full review at Idle Hour Library

A brilliant tale for today's threatened world, Riverflow combines family secrets and ecology in an irresistible tide of tension.

Martine Bailey

Alison Layland is such a clever writer, I was completely drawn in by her characters and their environment (a character in itself!)  The sense of unease that pervades throughout was heart-stopping at moments.  A terrific read.

Emma Curtis

Riverflow is a highly atmospheric thriller that entertains and educates in equal measure. The descriptions of rural Wales are lyrical but never overly sentimental. This is a book that lays family feuds and small-town intrigues bare

Karin Salvalaggio

An immersive read that swirls with family secrets and simmering resentments. The rural setting provides the backdrop for a compelling narrative with a serious message at its core – the need to protect our natural world from environmental destruction.

Juliet West

A haunting and elegantly written novel about family secrets and their shocking consequences. It builds to a twist that nearly made me miss my tube stop.

Louisa Treger


Buy direct from the publisher, Honno