My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time Taken to Read - 3 days
Blurb From Goodreads
David Ash – detective of the paranormal – is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case: a man has been found crucified – in a room that was locked. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted . . .
Who – or what – is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night?
What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods?
And why are the castle’s inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen?
. . . what Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking
I was torn between giving this a 2 star or 3 rating; I decided on the latter. I have followed David Ash's adventures and love James Herbert's writing however this is totally different. Ash is still trying to recover from his last encounters with the supernatural when he is hired to investigate the strange happenings at a Scottish castle that harbours those who have money to evade the law.
The story takes a while to start however when it gets going it quickly becomes twisted with murder, incest, conspiracy theories, and ghosts to name but a few of the aspects of this story. Some of the scenes are very descriptive and gory however if you have read James Herbert before you will be used to this, if not just a heads up. It is a big book (the printed version is over 600 pages) and goes from Ash's point of view and what is happening and flits between the other characters and back to Ash. Most of the Herbert books I have read focus on a theme (usually supernatural and horror) but this one covers a whole host of topics including love, sex and lesbianism.
Ash's character goes through different phases as the story progresses. He starts off as investigator battling his addictions and old ghosts whilst trying to keep on top of the new case with limited information. Then as he uncovers the history and secrets of the castle and residents he becomes more assertive, latterly the "hero" in him comes forth as he attempts to do his job and stay alive.
To be honest the story is simply madness. There is so much going on in it and even for a horror fan who loves "out there" and "it is never going to happen" stuff even this was a bit unreal for me. I still enjoyed it though and think if you're happy to read it knowing it really is quite silly and bizarre you will be fine with it. 3/5 for me.