When asked what, throughout my 35 odd years of avid book reading, is my favourite book, my answer is always ‘the book I am currently reading’. Ash by James Herbert is my latest read and I enjoyed every page! If you want action served with your chills, this is the book to get!
The ‘Ash’ of the title is a complex absinthe drinking parapsychologist occult investigator called David Ash who for an occupation involves himself in the paranormal. A character in the book states “ghosts, they can’t harm you” – but how far from the truth this turns out to be.
If you are a James Herbert fan you may be familiar with the character of David Ash who has turned up in earlier titles such as “The Ghosts of Sleath”.
In Ash, following an inexplicable death the parapsychologist is commissioned to attend Comraich, a haunted Scottish castle with a secret agenda. He has to determine the degree of the problem and to attempt to eradicate or at the very least provide solutions as to the exorcizing of the paranormal activity that seems to exist.
Comraich Castle is a secret hiding place for people generally in the public profile who the rest of the world believes are dead but who live in secret here, for a big fee. These people live in palatial surroundings whilst below ground, within the dungeons exist those poor souls defined as criminally insane. Why are they here?
There is a bold array of characters in the book such as the bald assassin Cedric Twigg, the demure psychologist who Ash falls in love with, the guilt ridden ex priest now security guard at Comraich, the incestuous twins Petra and Peter, the demon love child of Hitler, the mutant “Boy”, former presidents and military genocide dictators and so on.
Ash realises before long that everyone is in danger and that an evil demon has been awakened in the Castle that in fact the castle itself and the grounds surrounding it, are in fact deadly. The first manifestation was the death of one of the guests. His body was arranged in the style of a crucifix and seemingly and impossibly stuck to a wall. The second manifestation of evil at the castle was the flies at dinner time and the third was in the form of the hunting pack of Scottish wildcats. Whatever is likely to happen next? You will be on the edge of your seat, flicking those pages ten to the dozen!
Ash by James Herbert is an exceptional read! Treat yourself!