Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Book 7 . The Ghosts of Sleath - James Herbert.

Finished 8th February 2011

I have always been a fan of James Herbert but surprisingly it has been a long time since I have read any of his stuff. This book has been sitting on my bookshelves for a long time and I had forgotten almost that it was there. I don't even remember getting the book !

But what a great reminder of his mastery of horror ! To look at, there is nothing new in this book. It relies upon the old cliche of a haunted village. This story has been written many times whether it is a haunted house, hotel or village. And something happened in the ancient past that has led to a haunting and things are starting to awaken from their slumber. It sounds cliched because it is ! But all credit to Herbert for making it work and not only that, he also makes it fresh and seem almost like he came up with the cliche himself !

Ash is a paranormal investigator and he is sent to the village of Sleath after being called by the local vicar's daughter. ( We actually see Ash in a previous Herbert Novel, but it isn't really a sequel.) Once in the village things start to accelerate and ghosts start to grow like warts. Herbert doesn't pull any punches and we soon get as much blood and guts as we can take. The horror certainly isn't subtle in this book, page after page of pure unadulterated blood and more blood.

This book works. It is as simple as that. It had me turning the pages and it had me glued to the pages. It slowly builds up to an incredible and shocking climax and the ending is satisfying as well as terrifying.


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