A statue, unearthed in ancient Babylon during the course of an archaeological dig, is transported to London. Once there, it quickly exerts an evil influence over those with whom it comes into contact; an influence which threatens to spread throughout London and beyond, and which pits the living against the dead in a battle for all mankind . . .
Praise for Jonathan Aycliffe:
'Aycliffe has a fine touch' Independent
'Aycliffe conjures up a feeling of dread that deepens with each unsettling incident' Time Out
'Naomi's Room must rank among the finest of English ghost stories . . . They certainly don't come more dark or fearsome.' Newcastle Evening Chronicle
British author Aycliffe (Naomi's Room) generates some genuine fear in the early chapters of this briskly paced if meandering horror novel, but he reveals too much too soon, rendering the rest of the story anticlimactic where tension should be mounting. After a prologue in which medieval Muslims hide a satanic idol in a soon-to-be-buried Babylonian sanctuary, the action shifts to modern-day London, where Tom Alton, a Mesopotamian scholar, has just taken a job as a British Museum curator. An archeologist friend, Ed Monelli, arrives in town to donate to the museum an extraordinary and eerie statue of Satan, discovered by Ed's archeologist wife shortly before her mysterious death. Tom accepts the gift, though the statue, kept briefly at the Alton home, has troubling effects on his wife, Nicola, and his young stepson, Adam. In dramatically muddled ways, the author introduces elements reminiscent of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby Adam suffers an unaccountable fall that leaves him mentally and physically precocious and possessed by the devil, while Nicola becomes pregnant with a fetus that grows at supernatural speed. The protagonists, Tom and Nicola, are unconvincing in part because they lack a sense of proportion, as when Nicola, amid all the horrors, objects, "Adam can't afford to miss school." A padded plot that fails to cohere, as well as often trite or hackneyed prose ("The snow continued falling, unaware of grief or happiness"), makes for a book likely to please only Aycliffe loyalists. FYI:Aycliffe's real name is Denis MacEoin.