Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ash, by James Herbert

(hb; 2012: third book in the David Ash series)

From the inside flap:

"Set high on a craggy cliff top on the wind-battered western coast of Scotland is a remote, secluded ancient castle.  A castle that holds secrets that would shake the world if they were ever revealed.

"David Ash, ghost hunter and parapsychologist, is sent there to investigate a series of bizarre hauntings that have grown gradually more menacing and horrific: unaccountable noises, inexplicable putrid smells, the dimming of lights, deathly chills, and objects mysteriously flying across rooms.

"When a resident is found in his room, dead, pinned to the wall, with only his viscous blood holding him in place, the investigator is all too aware that a powerful and dark force lurks within the castle's ancient walls - an incorporeal power ignited by a long-ago curse and fed by the evil of those who inhabit the sanctuary called Comraich Castle.

"There are others, miscreants with black souls, who roam the corridors and passageways, infamous people thought long deceased by the outside world.  Yet their hour of retribution is at hand. . ."


Ash is a fun, reader-hooking "Old School" spookhouse novel that's full of humorous and truly scary - not to mention often icky - characters, moments and scenes. 

Set two years after the events of The Ghosts of Sleath, this third entry in the David Ash  series is the best one yet: it has none of the plot lag that marred Sleath, and it has all of the Hammer filmesque charms of Haunted - Ash even sports a nice mention of actress Ingrid Pitt, a Hammer flick "regular", that made me smile. 

(Hammer films should make this character- and plot-exciting horror/action novel into a theatrical film, or, at the very least, a cable television miniseries.)

Worth owning, this.

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