Ash by James Herbert
- Method of Obtaining: I obtained my copy via the publisher.
- Published by: Tor Books
- Release Date: 8/30/2012
David Ash – detective of the paranormal – is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case: a man has been found crucified – in a room that was locked. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted . . .
Who – or what – is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night?
What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods?
And why are the castle’s inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen?
. . . what Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking.
- I received a review copy from the publisher.
- The Child Thief by Brom
- The Shining by Stephen King
Ash by James Herbert is the third in the series- yet it has enough stand-alone information woven throughout the story-line that it could be read on its own. This book has been the reason that I’ve slept with my lights on the last few nights. It had all the ingredients necessary for a kick-butt horror story: the creepy castle in Scotland, luxury and wealth, a whole host of bad guys all under the same roof, and a tormented, parapsychologist who has been hired to investigate.
I accepted this book for a review because I’d read good things about James Herbert. While horror is not my go-to genre, I have respect for King’s earlier works and have been working my way through some other titles as well. While the horror elements contained within Ash were not bad (even succeeding, as evidenced by the light comment above), it were other parts of the story that came off as simply not-believable. The entire book takes place within a three-day main period… that alone is not enough though for my criticism. Ultimately, it was the relationship that develops between David Ash and one of the staff at the castle. Within one day these two adults, both of whom have had traumatic, romantic encounters, are declaring their love for one another and are unable to keep their hands off one another. Add that into the fact that David Ash is to investigate a massive castle along with the other horrors that are happening and it all translates into at least 60 hour days.
I read, after finishing the final pages of Ash, that this is not the finest of Herbert’s work. At this point in time, I’ll have to just take those reviewers word for it – because of Ash is any indication of what Herbert is capable of, I’m afraid I’m just not interested.
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