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The Jonah [Kindle Edition]

James Herbert
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The shadow of the past was always with him. But he never knew what it was, or when it would strike next. Sent to a small coastal town to investigate drug smuggling, Kelso stumbles on a dangerous organisation and suddenly more than just his life is at stake. It’s his past, his future, his sanity. Through torture and drugs he discovers the terrifying secret of The Jonah. And learns, in the most horrifying way that it can destroy him as well as others . . .

‘A fresh crop of terrors bristle all through’ Daily Mirror

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Product Description


"A fresh crop of terrors bristle all through." --"Daily Mirror "

Book Description

Remember with fear . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 856 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (11 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330376217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330376211
  • ASIN: B0050AM5Q2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First published back in 1981, `The Jonah' was Herbert's eighth novel to be published. Moving slightly away from his previous splatterpunk and down right gritty horror subject matters, this well written and intriguing tale delivers a well balanced mixture between a thriller and a horror.

Set in a quiet coastal town, Detective Jim Kelso (a typical Herbert style anti-hero) is placed on an assignment to discover the reason behind how a good honest local family came into contact with the drug LSD, that almost saw the death of them during some extreme and vivid hallucinations. The plot thickens as Kelso discovers that there's a lot more than just honest fishing work going on in this quiet location. As Kelso gets closer to the truth, a much more disturbing turn of events reveals itself.

`The Jonah' is a well paced novel that draws the reader into the developing storyline with the mysterious events that are occurring. Kelso is written as a very human and easy to identify with character. The interlacing subplots that run parallel to the main thread of the storyline add a good depth to the novel as a whole, whilst fleshing out the characters and their respective pasts.

Recurring flashbacks that haunt Kelso throughout the novel add an intriguing aspect to the tale, with a big question mark constantly hanging over the character's unknown background. Obviously, Herbert draws this out until the end, building up the suspense throughout the novel.

Once the novel has set itself in motion, the action comes thick and fast, with regular cliff hangers ending each chapter making the book difficult to put down.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pirates, drugs and a ghoul! 21 May 2002
I loved The Jonah. Set in a sleepy village, one gets the vibe of that old Hammer movie The Reptile.
This is a departure for Herbert, but an excellent one. If you want out-and-out horror this isn't for you, however, if you like your horror thought-provoking and intelligent, this along with Sepulchre and Others, is what you're looking for.
The Jonah is a subtle novel that builds up to the usual Herbert finale, and what with pirates, drugs and a ghoul, you certainly get your money's worth from this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Jonah. 14 Jun. 2005
The Jonah is an enjoyable yarn from James Herbert, but like a couple of the other reviewers here I would have to question whether this is a horror or supernatural story or whether it is a plain old fashioned thriller.
In fact it is the actual composition of the book rather than the storyline itself that has led me to this conclusion. The first ½ of the book is all plot background and story setting. We see detective Jim Kelso transferred into the drugs squad after a run of bad luck incidences in the serious crime squad and we then see his subsequent posting to the small coastal town to investigate a possible drug trafficking incident. This part of the book is pure thriller, competently written and thoroughly enjoyable as is the plot development when customs and excise officer Ellie Shepherd is assigned to the same case. The blossoming romance between the two main characters, whilst being obvious and not unexpected is never the less well written and a great addition to the story line.
What happens then is a series of flashbacks to Kelso's past showing his run of bad luck experiences and strange goings to those who threaten him. Whilst again they are well written I don't really like this well-worn Herbert tactic of interspersing the live action with the flashbacks. The flashbacks tend to be quite short and as such you don't really get into them before being transported back to the present time.
Likewise at the conclusion to the book, in order to set the scene with the huge storm hitting the coast, Herbert writes several short snippets of scene description as various new characters fall foul of the bad weather. Again because they are short you don't connect with the characters and although they passages are relatively exciting you don't really care what happens.
The final twist in the tale is good although it is only at this very last gasp you actually get any pure horror writings.
All in all and fun and enjoyable book but by no means a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail James Herbert 28 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The master of horror has been brought back into my life like a ghost from my past! I read all his books as a teenager and I never tire of the way he can bring his books to life through words and a lot of imagination.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More thriller than horror 23 Aug. 2004
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Even more than The Spear, The Jonah is a book packaged as a horror novel, yet reads for much of its length like a straightforward thriller. The supernatural element concerns the lead character Kelso, with the fact that he is a Jonah (i.e.: a walking bad luck magnet for those around him) being due to the malevolent influence of the ghost of his stillborn twin.
For the bulk of the novel however this aspect is kept very much in the background, with only a few flashbacks to previous tragedies in Kelso's past peppered amongst the regular chapters. Instead the first 200 pages concentrate on policeman Kelso going undercover in a fishing town trying to uncover a drug ring. This section is readable but fairly standard thriller territory, with no new ideas or twists. The initially frost pairing with a female agent that leads to a romance is obvious and predictable, and the identity of the local drug lord is never really in doubt.
It's only really in the last 50 pages that The Jonah picks up, with some great action scenes courtesy of some freak weather conditions, (though this does seem a little like a convenient deus ex machina to save the hero from otherwise certain doom). The final full-fledged appearance of Kelso's malevolent twin is fittingly macabre though, and there's a nice sting in the tale ending.
Some of Herbert's novels, even when enjoyable, can seem a little formulaic, and to his credit The Jonah doesn't feel like a retread of any of his previous books, but for my own personal tastes I could have done with a little more supernatural horror, and a little less mainstream police investigation.
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