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This one sets off at a slow pace and then stays that way. There is one or two intriguing bits to it which is probably the reason why, despite its lack of a real scare factor it does keep you engrossed till the end. This though isn’t because the story is that exciting or dramatic its simply because once you’ve started you just want to know what is actually going on and how does it end.
The story itself centres around a cottage in the countryside and 2 main characters, who, after looking for a retreat from the big city life chance upon what they believe to be their dream home. At first glance and in fact for the first few weeks everything is indeed idyllic with only the occasional “unusual” incident to worry about. These doubts mean nothing at the time but later when the real story starts they come to realise their significance.
James Herbert does do a good job (as is always the case) of introducing and thereafter building up the characters so that you feel as if you know them personally. In this case however I think he probably goes just a little bit over the top with his picture of the couple involved, it doesn’t distract from the story though merely frustrates it a bit.
Although the majority of the book involves the couple he does introduce a few other characters such as a rather formidable agent (Midge is a painter) and a drug taking friend of the couple. These 2 do play a small part in the outcome of the book but it the leader of a religious cult, Mycroft, that lives in a large mansion nearby who perhaps is the other central character. As I said earlier though Herbert maybe concentrates too much on the young couple whereas a little bit more of Mycroft might have made it a bit more gripping.
All in all a little bit disappointing compared to Herbert’s other work but still worth a read despite this.
Oh yes, did I mention the friendly squirrel and what happened to it at the end ??? Well, I wont because that was probably the best bit of the book !!