"We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Charming, maybe a little run down, but so peaceful. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.
What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now those terrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened..."
Herbert's 12th novel is a minor effort about a young couple, Midge and Mike (she's an artist and children's book writer; he's a rock musician) who buy an idyllic country home, christened Gramarye ("magic'' in old English) by a former owner. Gradually they find that Gramarye is the focus of supernatural energies, and that they themselves are sometimes the media through which these energies work. The house at first seems lovely and warm but takes on a sinister mood as cracks develop in the stone, moisture and mildew crawl up the walls, and bats multiply in the attic. Complicating the picture is the presence of a local cult, led by an Aleister Crowley type, which desperately wishes to gain control of Gramarye and its forces. A few creepy moments spike the generally lethargic pace of the novel. A veteran horror writer and bestseller in England, Herbert here writes like a noviceeverything spelled out, one-dimensional characterizations, no brevity, no wit; very occasionally diverting. Troll Book Club alternate.