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'It's not the dead you need worry about. It's the living ...' A chilling, page-turning Hammer novella by Booker-Prize-winning author of Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre.
The setting: a faded, lonely guesthouse on the Essex coast. Outside, it's dark, and very foggy. Inside there's no phone or internet reception, no connection with the outside world.
Enter a promising young academic en route from the USA to an important convention in Holland. With his plane grounded by fog at Stanstead, he has been booked in for the night at the guesthouse. Discombobulated and jetlagged, he falls in with a family who appear to be celebrating an anniversary of some sort.
But this is no ordinary celebration.
Presiding over the evening is an ancient and malign matriarch in a wheel-chair. With her is a medium charged with calling up the restless spirit of the old woman's dead son. As evening becomes night, it transpires that the old woman exercises a ruthless control over her family who are caught up in an insidious web of secrets and lies.
It isn't long before our young academic finds that he too is implicated in the unfolding events - and that it's not the dead he should be worrying about, but the living ...
About the Author
DBC Pierre has worked as a designer and cartoonist, and currently lives in Ireland. His first novel, Vernon God Little, won the 2003 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Award, the 2003 Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel, and the 2003 Man Booker Prize, and is sold in 43 countries.
His relationship with Hammer stretches back to earliest childhood. He describes never having been so chilled and intrigued as with the supernatural Hammer films he grew up with. Their effect was so great that he spent many schooldays drawing replica storyboards on cash register rolls, and holding showings for classmates on a shoebox cinema.
"Pierre's prose is a sumptuous, metaphor-infused confection ... Quirky characters and off-the-wall observations about modern life's obsession with electronic communication keep the book constantly entertaining."
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 31st July 2014
Publisher: Random House
Edition Number: 1