From Britain's 'master of horror', Adam Nevill, comes The Ritual, winner of the August Derleth Award and perfect for fans of Stephen King. Now a major film with Rafe Spall.
Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.
Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.
As the four friends struggle toward salvation they discover that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .
"And on the second day things did not get better." This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood's classic story "The Wendigo." Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren't physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated "thing" hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil.
Another excellent read from this talented author.
Goes on a bit
A lot of words for not a lot happening. Enjoyable but quiet the slug of a read.