Top critical review
There's a Ghost in My House
on 24 July 2009
James Herbert has been writing for a long time now, but he remains very popular. Personally I like his collective work which often concentrates on supernatural led horror. The 90s was not his best period as some of the books did not meet his usual standard; a good example of this is `The Ghosts of Sleath'. `Sleath' is perhaps the most by the numbers Herbert I have read to date and follows many of the beats that he has written before. A village is plagued by supernatural elements and a cynical investigator is sent in to see whether they are real or a hoax.
There are elements of the book that work well. The small vignettes that describe how individuals are haunted really stand out and show Herbert at his best. He is a very evocative writer and his use of language is wonderful. However, his language is also strangely old fashioned. `Sleath' more than any books feels out of its time. Written in the mid 90s it feels more like the 70s with old fashioned attitudes and writing style. Perhaps this is to indicate the isolation of the village - I think it's just poor writing. The book was too similar to other books by Herbert and came across as a poor man's `The Shrine' (one of my favourite books by the writer). This novel is still an enjoyable read and has some great moments, but as a whole it is not quite up to the standard of a man I would call a master of the genre.