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This review is from: Others (Paperback)
Others is a fairly standard James Herbert horror/detective novel in terms of plotting, with private investigator Nick Dismas following the trail of a missing baby to a sinister rest home ( a setting used by Herbert just 4 novels previously in Creed), complete with a malevolent Doctor and medical monstrosities shackled in the basement. What makes Others more interesting than just another horror-by-numbers is Herbert’s decision to have both the lead male and female characters (let alone most of the supporting cast) suffer from physical deformity – the result is a horror novel rich in the flavour of such films as The Elephant Man and Freaks. For additional supernatural interest the hero also turns out to be a reincarnated Hollywood movie star, who is seeking redemption for his past crimes. The book is occasionally uneven in tone (witness the comedic Hell-bound first chapter), and feels a little bloated in the middle (at 500 pages this could have done with some serious editing), and occasionally Herbert’s desire to push the horror to the extremes tips the novel into the realms of the ridiculous (such as the pornographic starring giant-penis-wielding mutant at the climax) but generally Others is one of Herbert’s more interesting novels, thanks to it’s unlikely hero.