Cash-strapped, working for agencies and living in shared accommodation, Stephanie Booth feels she can fall no further. So when she takes a new room at the right price, she believes her luck has finally turned. But 82 Edgware Road is not what it appears to be.
It’s not only the eerie atmosphere of the vast, neglected house, or the disturbing attitude of her new landlord, Knacker McGuire, that makes her uneasy – it’s the whispers behind the fireplace, the scratching beneath floors, the footsteps in the dark, and the young women weeping in neighbouring rooms. And when Knacker’s cousin Fergal arrives, the danger goes vertical.
But this is merely a beginning, a gateway to horrors beyond Stephanie’s worst nightmares. And in a house where no one listens to the screams, will she ever get out alive?
Once again we have a dark and disturbing tale from the pen of Adam Nevill, and it’s one which took me on a roller coaster ride. It’s a difficult book to review without giving any of the plot away, especially at this early stage before publication, so for now I’ll be brief.
It starts with a rather traditional, chilling ghost story, as Stephanie spends her first night in her new room, and starts to experience sounds in her own room, and weeping in other rooms, which she’s sure are unoccupied.
The horror then becomes very real, as her landlord and his cousin show their true, terrifying, violent sides.
Throughout these experiences, Adam does something he did very well in Apartment 16.. he shows the absolute despair and depression felt as Stephanie’s world spirals out of her control, and she feels the full impact of having no-one, and nothing.
I’ll admit, as someone who’s read a LOT of horror in my time, I liked the creepy start much more than the violent aspect, but it was a necessary part of the story, and it didn’t overwhelm the scares.
The last third of the book was my absolute favourite though – I didn’t know where the book was going at this part, but for me it was the scariest part – I almost had to leave the light on a couple of times!
I’ve read Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, and The Ritual previously, and to me, Adam managed to bring all the best aspects of these books together in this one. There’s something inside for all sorts of horror readers, along with a critical view of parts of society.
It’s the best I’ve read so far, and I will highly recommend you get hold of it on the 23rd, and read as you approach Halloween! I’d love to chat to some of you about it. :)
Published by PanMacmillan 23/10/14