‘Bad memories never died. They only blurred, became smooth and heavy and not so spiky and sharp.’
Adam Nevill is one of my favourite ‘new’ authors. Although he has been publishing horror novels for over 15 years now, I came across his most famous piece, The Ritual, only a couple of years ago. I’ve read most of his stuff since, and he never disappoints.
He claims in his interviews that the biggest gift an author can receive from readers is word of mouth. This was how I received a recommendation to read him too: from my former boss, during an unexpected conversation in the middle of a meeting, where he revealed to me his love of horror. And he said, ‘Adam Nevill is the scariest writer out there today.’ After reading several of his books, I strongly agree.
We say don’t judge a book by its cover, which is true in the sense that a great cover doesn’t mean the content is going to be amazing, but it helps us decide to buy or not. In this case, I highly recommend you to buy a physical copy. The cover is phenomenal.
The story revolves around a rural coastal area where a new cave system is discovered. The protagonists are Kat and Helene, who get entangled in the dark past of the place. They’re led by different motivations, but they suffer the same consequences by crossing the mysterious red folk terrorising the neighbourhood. Ancient rituals, prehistoric terror, and a terrifying conspiracy reveal themselves on the pages.
The writing is mature and poetic. Nevill’s ability to paint pictures in the mind, both beautiful and disturbing, is remarkable. I loved reading his descriptions, liked the characters and feared for their lives. This novel is not for the faint-hearted, even among horror fans. Some scenes are extremely violent and graphic. Adam Nevill is a hell of a writer, and by painting these emotionally charged, gruesome scenes in your head, I guarantee he will cause some sleepless nights.
If you like your horror atmospheric and gory, The Reddening is what you need to read next.
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