James Herbert is not just Britain's number one bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he has held ever since publication of his first novel, but is also one of our greatest popular novelists. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his twenty-three novels have sold more than fifty-four million copies worldwide, and have been translated into over thirty languages including Russian and Chinese. In 2010, he was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and was also awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to literature. He is married with three daughters and lives in London and Sussex.
Prolific British horror novelist Herbert unquestionably knows his way around a haunted house, but despite a careful setup, this novel dissipates its promise amid too many characters and plot threads. Returning after 2007's Haunted, parapsychologist David Ash investigates malevolent spirit activity at Comraith Castle, a retreat/prison catering to well-connected social pariahs and run by a shadowy elite cabal. A particularly dangerous inmate kept in the castle dungeon psychically channels evil upwards into the other guests, among them an African dictator, incestuous twins, Nazi war criminals, and a corrupt financier. This intriguing premise leads to gripping moments, but never to a sustained sense of horror, losing its way with unnecessary sideshows that include Comraith's leering head nurse, the vicious pack of wildcats stalking the grounds, a guilt-ridden former IRA member, and a disabled assassin plotting revenge. As the literally explosive conclusion winds down, readers may find themselves sighing more in relief than in satisfaction. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Higham Associates. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Parapsychologist David Ash (Haunted; The Ghosts of Sleath) is assigned to discover the source of the unusual occurrences at Comraich Castle, a super-secret hideaway in Scotland for the less-than-ethical but extremely wealthy citizens of the world. Although plagued by the ghosts of his past, Ash takes the job, both to satisfy his curiosity about the secrecy surrounding Comraich and to collect the substantial fee that his company has been promised should he succeed. Upon arriving at the castle, however, Ash realizes that the situation is much worse than he has been led to believe, and he must quickly unravel the mysteries of Comraich Castle if he wants to leave alive. VERDICT A haunted castle, a secret society, evil forces fueled by past and present atrocities, and lots of explosions-this book has it all. Readers will find it difficult to put down this fast-paced new novel from Britain's top horror writer. Fans and newcomers alike will find this book irresistible. It is classic horror writing at its best.-Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.