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Ash

Book review by Leslie Collacott

James Herbert, him of The Rats still isn't afraid to use these little vermin throughout his literary endeavours, so phobics beware. Add to these Wild Cats with a blood lust for flesh, and some of the worst people human history has to offer and you've got just some ingredients of this gorefilled tome.

Ash, our hero, is a parapsychologist who must summon all his powers to overcome the perils of this controversial tale. Ash's task is to prove or disprove the presence of occult activities in a gloom laden castle. His dealings bring him into contact with many weird personalities, such as Peter and Petra, a drug dependant pair of incestous twins, sent to Comraich Castle by their witless parents who could no longer tolerate their behaviour in the family. The depraved psychotic Bishop Carsley and his equally neurotic P.A. Sister Thimble whose outward coquetish behaviour belies the outrageous goings on behind closed doors.

Ash's love interest is in the form of Delphine, a psychologist hired to counsel the unfortunates that inhabit the castle. Like Louis, a man with transparent skin whom unbeknown to Delpine is of Royal connections, being the son of non other than Diana, Princess of Wales.

The other occupants secreted away in the Castle (the Scottish monolith situated on a rugged shore) are War tyrants, long thought dead, and other depraved miscreants from political or entrepreneural echelons, who curiously disappeared at the height of their infamy to spend their days sedated but happy at Conraich. Lord Lucan ring a bell! 

These villians are kept alive by means of untested drugs that prolong their lives, as well as those that keep them in a intoxicated but harmless state. The Castle is bound by the Inner Court, the Sanctum which all structure and rules are dispensed from, and led by Sir Victor Haelstrom, the corrupt Leader of all illegal ventures.

Murder, Incest, Lesbianism, War Criminals, The Church, Love , Tyranny and Mayhem along with Poltergeist phenomenon, Herbert has thouroughly stirred the pot of possibilities and has painted a canopy of Curiosity that will keep you reading to the end.