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Thursday, 11 November 2010

James Herbert's back

 James Herbert will finally complete the David Ash trilogy when the long awaited new novel Ash is published next year. Ash features one of Herbert's best-loved characters, David Ash, the sceptical paranormal detective, first encountered in The Haunted and later in The Ghosts of Sleath both No. 1 bestsellers. Ash is investigating a mysterious and secluded stately home, deep in the countryside. There have been reports from locals about strange goings on, they think it might be haunted . . . What Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking.

Prepare to be chilled to the marrow  when Ash comes out next March.


JAMES HERBERT AND I - when I was a teenager, it wasn't rock stars or movie stars that had me smitten but writers and horror writers Stephen King and James Herbert were two of my favourite authors and I'd write to both of them after reading one or other of their books. King never wrote back but Herbert did, every time. I wish I still had those letters. From our correspondence I felt that Herbert was something of a reluctant horror author, he certainly didn't talk about the genre as much as King did, preferring instead to allow his books to speak for themselves. And indeed Herbert often outsold King on these shores.

Now unlike King, James Herbert seems to have fallen off the radar somewhat but all his books are still in print and indeed anyone who fancies a chilling read could do worse than pick up one of his books. Some of the stuff is of the pulpy creature feature variety - The Rats trilogy for one, but some of his books are beautifully written works of dark art - The Shrine deserves to be read by anyone and Fluke is a great shaggy dog story with a difference.

Back in the day Herbert's books kept me awake at night and had me checking beneath the bed before turning out the lights - but it was a good fear, a delicious chill and anyone who has ever been thrilled by a good ghost story will know what I mean. These days I read very little horror, though Christopher Ransom is very good, but I'll definitely be in line for Ash next year.

And if James Herbert does happen to read this - thanks for answering the letters. I'll have to send you a western.


Col Bury said...

Hey, Gary.
I wondered where my old favourite had disappeared to. Thanks for the heads up on this - he's one of my heroes so I'll defo be grabbing a copy.
And ta for the previous shout re' Stephen King's IT too. Another of the old masters I recall fondly.

Richard Prosch said...

Hi Gary! Thanks for the post. I took a little unplugged hiatus. Hope to have the bridge open for traffic again presently.