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James Herbert was not just Britain's number one bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he held ever since publication of his first novel, but was also one of our greatest popular novelists. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his twenty-three novels have sold more than fifty-four million copies worldwide, and have been translated into over thirty languages, including Russian and Chinese. In 2010, he was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and was also awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to literature. His final novel was Ash. James Herbert died in March 2013.


A multinational corporation hires a protection firm specializing in kidnap and ransom cases to safeguard Felix Kline, a psychic with the ability to root out deposits of precious natural resources. During a weekend at Kline's isolated country estate, the source of the psychic's power is gradually revealed, and the agent assigned to Kline soon begins to wonder which of them needs protection most. Herbert skillfully weaves industrial espionage, terrorism, mythology, and supernatural horror into a fast-moving and well-written narrative. Attention to character, riveting suspense, and a satisfyingly chilling conclusion show Herbert ( Moon , LJ 9/15/86) once again to be a master of the genre. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct.

Herbert's latest novel begins as a rather taut political thriller/horror hybrid, but it begins to deteriorate about halfway through, becoming increasingly poorly paced and confused. The story concerns Liam Holloran, a mercenary and the veteran of many violent encounters, who is hired as a bodyguard for Fritz Kline, a psychic who has become aware that his life is threatened but doesn't know by whom. Kline's psychic abilities, it is eventually revealed, are partly the result of an alliance he made long ago with Bel-Marduk, a Sumerian deity who also shows up in Christian theology as the Fallen Angel, Lucifer. Kline and his cohorts are a grisly but one-dimensional lot and Herbert doesn't have very much of a story for them to show off in. The author increasingly relies on repulsive detail in lieu of solid plotting and character development. After the intriguing beginning, a disappointment. (June)

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