Author: Adam Nevill
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Page count/Size: 531pp
Release date: 24th May 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Guerrilla film maker Kyle and his best friend Dan are hired by rich eccentric Max Solomon to make a documentary film about a religious cult the ‘Last Days’. The excitement as Kyle and Dan get his first piece of real work is palpable, particularly as they are getting an advance of £100,000. Their initial scepticism (they are derisive of their first interviewee Sister Isis) seems natural. After all, they have been sent to London to an abandoned house to interview the peculiar old woman who could be an embarrassment for their film. However, the story Sister Isis (Susan White) starts to tell, is compelling. Like a car crash, they know it will be bad but they want to know more, no matter how horrific it is. And things get worse when they return to the house later on the first night of filming and they are disturbed by strange noises and sights deep within the bowels of the house.
The film makers’ journey takes them from the house in London, once the temple for religious cult leader/religious despot Sister Katherine, to the cult’s base at a farm in France, then the base in the USA. With contemporary references throughout, the novel feels authentic and grounded in reality through Kyle’s point-of-view, despite the supernatural elements of the events occurring.
Nevill’s natural story-telling voice grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. It is permeated with a giddy, scary atmosphere.
If I haven’t yet convinced you to read this book, then let’s get down to brass tacks – reading this novel on my own with the lights on full, it still scared the s*** out of me. It crept me up like no other book has to date; every sound making me jump, spidery fingers crawling down my spine.
If you want to know what fear is really like, then read Adam Nevill.