Darkness Lives Within…

“Cash-strapped, working for temping 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 Edgehill 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. When Knacker’s menacing cousin Fergal arrives, the danger exceeds her darkest imaginings.

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?”

best-of-2014-1“No One Gets Out Alive” is the sixth supernatural horror novel by Birmingham born author Adam Nevill.

Adam Nevill
Adam Nevill

I first discovered the work of Nevill when, whilst browsing at my local library, I happened across his third book, “Ritual”, a fantastic tale of four friends hiking across remote Scandanavian forests which involved old rites, pagan sacrifice, black metal bands and something ancient still roaming the forest.

Since then I have read, and thoroughly enjoyed, “Banquet For The Damned”, “Apartment 16” and “Last Days”. For some reason I struggled with his last book, “House Of Small Shadows” and was unable to get more than a few chapters in before abandoning it. So I approached this latest book wondering whether “House…” was just a blip and if it would reach the heights of Nevill’s first four novels. I’m pleased to say that it does indeed live up to expectations, and then some. At 628 pages it’s quite a hefty read but well worth it.

SFX_Double_PageAlthough written in third person, we witness events unfolding entirely from the perspective of Stephanie as she struggles to settle into her new room in Birmingham. She has problems concerning work, her ex-boyfriend, friends and her stepmother back in Stoke, but far bigger problems are to come.

Bit by bit we learn more about the unsavoury characters who are running things at the house Stephanie has rented a room in, and through her dreams we begin to find out about the apparitions that make themselves known to her.

This is a story in two acts – the first two thirds concerning events in the house in Birmingham, and the final third takes place in a remote farmhouse in Devon. Throughout there are horrific experiences involving both present day and ancient evils for Stephanie to try to get through, and the experiences she and her housemates suffer in their dealings with the landlords at Edgehill Road are scarily plausible.

no_one_gets_out_alive“No One Gets Out Alive” is a great book. One that will have you thinking both about the supernatural and about the terrible depths to which human nature can go…

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