My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off over 4 days
Pages - 400
Publisher - Harper Collins
Source - Bookshop
Blurb from Goodreads
Psychic investigator David Ash delves into the mysterious events terrorizing the community of Sleath, and as each dark secret is unveiled, evil forces are unleashed, and Ash fears for his own sanity as well as that of the village people.
This is the second book in a trilogy, I would advise reading the first as you get a better idea of who Ash is and why he behaves as he does. David Ash works for the Psychical Research Institute with Kate McCarrick, unlike many in the field David is a skeptic, despite his own experiences and works to disprove rather than prove hauntings. This book sees him go to Sleath, a small town with an increase in weird episodes and violence among the towns folk. Ash finds himself failing to explain it all away and his own past being addressed.
The theme is darker in this one, extreme violence, abuse, sexual abuse, hauntings, rituals you name it Herbert covers it. It is certainly one of his more spookier books and now I have read the first two I have re bought the third to re read as I didn't love it and think it was my lack of background on the character and themes in this book and the previous.
Ash is so unlucky and the fact he is so focused on disproving hauntings I think says a lot about what happens to his character and all that befalls him. He is complex and this book gives us a bit more of his history helping to understand why he is the way he is. The chapters are short, the atmosphere is eerie and pulls you in pretty much from the get go. A perfect October read although as with some of the themes readers should be cautious incase of upset. If you aren't easily triggered and like a dark, supernatural read with complex characters and a ghost or two you will love this book, 4/5 for me this time.