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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, if slightly predictable
Haunted is a gripping read and highly recommendable. The story concentrates on David Ash, a paranormal investigator,as he investigates the abnormal occurances at Edbrook, a decaying mansion tucked away in the outskirts of the village.
I literally couldn't put the book down. I did feel that the ending was rather predictable, however, and I couldn't work out whether I...
Published on 21 Mar 2005 by fross

versus
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Haunted.
In "Haunted" James Herbert has taken us back to horror basics with a tale of a creepy mansion house, creaking floorboards, strange goings on and mysterious ghosts.
David Ash is a paranormal investigator, although he prefers to be known as an irregular normal investigator. As part of his role with the Psychical Research Institute he is tasked to make a visit to the...
Published on 5 Sep 2005 by Rich Milligan


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, if slightly predictable, 21 Mar 2005
By 
fross (High Peak, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
Haunted is a gripping read and highly recommendable. The story concentrates on David Ash, a paranormal investigator,as he investigates the abnormal occurances at Edbrook, a decaying mansion tucked away in the outskirts of the village.
I literally couldn't put the book down. I did feel that the ending was rather predictable, however, and I couldn't work out whether I had reviewed the book in detail somewhere previously, or whether the plot was really that transparent.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of tense moments from beginning to end; the descriptive passages convey a vivid painting of the scene throughout your imagination, and add to the spine-chilling effect.
The links with Ash's childhood explain his personality traits and characteristics, weaving the whole book together beautifully. Highly recommended.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Haunted., 5 Sep 2005
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
In "Haunted" James Herbert has taken us back to horror basics with a tale of a creepy mansion house, creaking floorboards, strange goings on and mysterious ghosts.
David Ash is a paranormal investigator, although he prefers to be known as an irregular normal investigator. As part of his role with the Psychical Research Institute he is tasked to make a visit to the remote stately home of Edbrook, where the occupants have requested he investigate some strange happenings. Edbrook, inhabited by the Marriell family, is the archetypal haunted house; there's a snarling evil looking dog who takes an instant dislike to Ash, shadowy figures who flit through the gardens, a stagnant pond with a aura of malevolence about it and so on.
Things go from bad to worse for Ash, as he finds himself witnessing all sort of horrific sights, being chased through the woods and finding himself being attacked in the cellar.
The book is quite short, only 250 or so pages, and this is where I felt it sort of lost its way. It's not really a short story and at the same time there's not enough flesh on the bones to make it a credible novel in its own right. There are some attempts to lay some background on the David Ash character but for me this doesn't work. Some of the passages are just too sketchy to really get into and some of the characters just too minimally described. I didn't buy any of the relationship between Ash and the head of the Psychical Research Institute, Kate McCarrick and likewise the relationship between Edith Phipps (a medium at the Institute) and Ash seemed unlikely to say the least.
What does work though are the sections in the house when Ash is investigating the hauntings. Although the elements Herbert uses here are as old as the hills, he still writes about them extremely effectively. Reading these sections when alone in the house is more than a little bit scary.
All in all not a bad old book, but I have read better from Mr Herbert.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of James Herbert's Horror Writing, 27 April 2007
By 
Mr. S. W. Steel "stephensteel" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
This is my favourite book written by James Herbert. It is probably one of my favourite horror books of all time as well.

The basic plot is that a sceptical psychic investigator is sent to uncover whether a haunting is taking place at a house called Edbrook, which is occuppied by three grown up children and their guardian, Nanny Tess. The action takes place over three nights in which the investigator, David Ash, is forced to confront the mystery at Edbrook and the secrets of his own past. This is a brief outline of the plot and i will not spoil the book by adding any more detail.

Why do i love this book so much, and why is it a horror book that i love to read time and time again?

There are many reasons for this book being a great piece of horror.

One, is that is short.Too many horror novels these days are so intent on building up the characters, various plotlines and set pieces that they often lose their impact, and their ability to grip you, scare you and most importantly, read right to the end without putting the book down.

Secondly, this book doesn't try to have 'closure' at the end of it.Too many modern horror novels have a happy ending. This one doesn't, and this in itself is very brave, but also satisfying for the reader. Throughout this book the reader is treated as an equal to the author, and James Herbert has done a fine job in letting the reader imagine what could be happening in Edbrook, in David's past, and what a possible ending is going to be.

Another key success in this book is the quality of the characters that are involved with David Ash - from the residents of Edbrook, to David's colleagues at the psychic institute. Again, Herbert lets you make up your own mind in reacting to the characters he has created.

A great achievement is the atmosphere generated by the author. The house where the action takes place is suitably threatening and mysterious, and i could certainly imagine this novel being filmed at on old, down-at-heel country manor house with it's mysterious pond and mausoleum tucked away in the garden.

The pacing is good too. You will not be bored by this book - there are snippets and hints as to the true nature of the mystery at Edbrook, and there are genuinely creepy scenes and moments of true horror without going into an overblown blood and guts scene that other writers always fall in to the trap of doing. Good horror doesn't need gore to be clever and frightening, and most importantly thought-provoking.

Finally, this book has a great twist to it. You may see it coming, and you may not, but on re-reading this book you will be saying 'Aaaah - that is why ....' at various points. And this is why i still love this book. Every once in a while i can pick it up and really enjoy it, even knowing the ending!

If you enjoy this book then you really must read the sequel as well.

It is called the Ghosts of Sleath.

But as for Haunted - it is one of my all time favourite horror books.And if you like James Herbert's early books, or Stephen King's earlier titles then you will love this book. I cannot recommend this book enough!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nailbiter, 15 April 2013
By 
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This review is from: Haunted (Kindle Edition)
I have always been a James Herbert fan but felt some of his novels went off the boil a bit, came back to him when I saw Haunted on Kindle and gave him another go I really enjoyed it I couldn't put it down which lead me onto Ghosts of Sleath and Ash both good reads, such a pity he is no longer with us
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars seductive horror, 20 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
this book is not of of gore and blood horror but one of delicious, seductive eeriness and dark enchanting shadows of things that are no longer...the ghosts that haunt Edbrook hold terrifying secrets which you only find out when its too late and youre captured i dont want to spoil the book for anyone but this is an old fashioned ghost story told in a gothic manner which easily has the power to shock you....
dont base your assumptions about this book upon the film that was made...the book is far far better and much more atmospheric....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, 12 Feb 2011
By 
Ms. A. A. Richards "Rogue" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
I read this in two days, and would have read it in one if not for other commitments. its a very short book and as such it leaves alot to be desired. so much more could have been added to the pages, fleshing out the characters, making the ending a little less obvious maybe?
to be honest i almost didnt see the ending coming because it was the most obvious, i thought no way is he going to do that, but yep, he did.
being ambiguous here so as not to spoil things for people. i did enjoy it, mostly because it was a short read, any longer and i may have had to leave it. but it was a classic ghost story. all the way through i could imagine it being written just so some director would snap it up and make a movie.
some creepy bits, well executed but i preferred his earlier works. The Fog nad The Rats highly reccomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror at its best., 26 May 2003
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
The 2nd James Herbert novel I ever read was this short yet well written novel. One of the best horror novels around it builds up an atmosphere a bit like M.R James but then reaches a great climax. For the more adept horror reader amongst you, you may pick up the twist at the end but I don’t think this will detract from the book. The usual flaw of Herbert’s is in there yet again though the sex by numbers seems to be a staple of his and his is no Jilly cooper lets face it, but writing a ghost story that follows the unfolding of secrets he is good at. And he knew where to end it unlike some of his others, this is probbley his best.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old-Fashioned Haunted House Tale - BUT A DAMN SCARY ONE., 2 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
It's very rare that a book surprises you with how well your mental creativity is, and here Herbert's book fuels your mind with darkness and a story that will not let go until you have finished the last sentence. In this book, Herbert has played on our sub-conciousmess with a tale of a suppossed 'haunted' house - something we have all grown up with as a symbol of fear, nightmares and ghosts. Surprisingly it is THE READER who allows their mind to turn this story into such a terrifying and gripping read as it feeds the above thought in increasingly dangerous dosages. This is the easiest Herbert novel I have read (my eigth now) and although some may find the climax rushed, the final note the book ends on is one that has still not left me since I finsihed it two weeks ago.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herbert�s Masterpiece, 6 Dec 2004
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
Haunted is quite simply a magnificent ghost story, and without a doubt the best novel James Herbert has thus far written. It's a fairly simply set up - a sceptical ghost-hunter sets out to debunk an alleged haunting at a remote house called Edbrook, and it's one of the author's slightest novels at just over two-hundred pages, including a number of substantial flashback sequences of the lead characters past. Its short length is in the novels favour however, as the story is completely shorn of any fat, and Herbert builds up to a gloriously macabre finale. The addition of a buried childhood experience in the ghost-hunter's past gives the lead character an additional depth, and Herbert pulls out a wicked twist in the characters final revelation as to the truth of the haunting, and though a number of movies have used similar twists since this books publication Herbert's execution here is so flawless that this book can still send shivers down your spine even when you know the twist. Herbert himself must have known he was on to a winner here as, for the first time since his debut novel The Rats, he would produce a sequel to this novel a few years down the line in the form of (the slightly inferior) The Ghosts of Sleath. A creepy, effective, supernatural delight - if you only read one James Herbert novel, make it Haunted.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly atmospheric and bursting with underlying tension., 5 Feb 2009
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
First published back in 1988, `Haunted' was Herbert's fourteenth full length novel to be published.

`Haunted' was the first novel to introduce the anti-hero character of David Ash, who later returned in Herbert's 1994 novel `The Ghosts Of Sleath', which takes on the role of a loose sequel to `Haunted'.

From the very beginning the reader soon becomes accustomed to Ash's bad habits, cynical view on life and overall downbeat traits, of which followers of Herbert's work will recognise as a somewhat recurring theme within his novels. Ash is certainly not a polished, goodie-two-shoes type of character, and this in itself gives the novel a harder and more true to life feel to it.

The book follows the classic structure of a `haunted house' novel, laying down the premise of a possible supernatural presence from the offset. Herbert carefully builds the underlying tension of the storyline, interweaving the sub-plots of the developing character relationships, whilst still subtly hinting to the reader an uneasy atmosphere to the whole scenario.

With suggestive bursts of ghostly appearances that become more and more frequent as the tale progresses, the old cliché of "am I going insane" is thrown into the equation, until finally the horrifying truth is revealed in an almost explosive manner.

For sheer nail biting tension this novel delivers the goods from the very first page until the dramatic final conclusion. Well written, Herbert weaves a tale that beckons the reader into the storyline, with heart-stopping suspense that you can cut with a knife.

At only 224 pages in length, you will find yourself wondering how you managed to get so absorbed in the novel in such a short span of pages.

The film director Lewis Gilbert (him of James Bond fame no less) later went on to make the film adaptation of `Haunted' in 1995 of the same name. The film did not stick particularly firmly to the course of Herbert's original tale, but is nevertheless a reasonably enjoyable film.
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Haunted
Haunted by James Herbert (Paperback - 4 May 2007)
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