James Herbert. Tor, $29.99 (640p) ISBN 978-0-230-71126-6
Prolific British horror novelist Herbert unquestionably knows his way around a haunted house, but despite a careful setup, this novel dissipates its promise amid too many characters and plot threads. Returning after 2007’s Haunted, parapsychologist David Ash investigates malevolent spirit activity at Comraith Castle, a retreat/prison catering to well-connected social pariahs and run by a shadowy elite cabal. A particularly dangerous inmate kept in the castle dungeon psychically channels evil upwards into the other guests, among them an African dictator, incestuous twins, Nazi war criminals, and a corrupt financier. This intriguing premise leads to gripping moments, but never to a sustained sense of horror, losing its way with unnecessary sideshows that include Comraith’s leering head nurse, the vicious pack of wildcats stalking the grounds, a guilt-ridden former IRA member, and a disabled assassin plotting revenge. As the literally explosive conclusion winds down, readers may find themselves sighing more in relief than in satisfaction. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Higham Associates. (Dec.) 
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 692 pages - 978-0-7653-6734-1
Hardcover - 692 pages - 978-0-7653-2896-0
Ebook - 704 pages - 978-1-4299-4693-3
Paperback - 978-0-230-75489-8
Ebook - 600 pages - 978-0-230-76487-3
Paperback - 704 pages - 978-1-5098-1601-9
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