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This review is from: Apartment 16 (Paperback)
Apartment 16 is an exquisitely crafted horror novel to be read in huge late-night chunks. Often truly chilling, it is rightly being heralded as a long-awaited innovation on the haunted house story. An intriguing plot and genuinely frightening scenes are delivered in a manner which has inevitably drawn comparisons with masters of the genre such M R James and H P Lovecraft, but which retains contemporary pace and edge. There are no zombies chasing cheerleaders here, only ghastly things, too terrible to comprehend, seen flitting in the corner of the eye, glimpsed in dimly lit stairwells or heard making muffled sounds behind closed doors. The rich, visceral language quickly drags us down into the dark and disturbing undertow of the writer's imagination.
In addition to being a great horror novel, the Apartment 16 delivers on many other levels. The consideration of art history has a scholarly, well-researched ring to it without ever descending into a lecture. Thought provoking meditations on mental illness, urban living, regret, ambition and class are all woven into the narrative so as never interrupt its flow. London gothic has not been done so well since Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor. Nevill's heartbreaking and grotesque depiction of a life gone wrong in a harsh, indifferent city is, perhaps, the real horror that lies at the core of this exceptional book.