Published October 2014
Darkness lives within . . . Cash-strapped, working for agencies and living in shared accommodation, Stephanie Booth feels she can fall no further. So when she takes a new room at the right price, she believes her luck has finally turned. But 82 Edgware Road is not what it appears to be. It’s not only the eerie atmosphere of the vast, neglected house, or the disturbing attitude of her new landlord, Knacker McGuire, that makes her uneasy – it’s the whispers behind the fireplace, the scratching beneath floors, the footsteps in the dark, and the young women weeping in neighbouring rooms. And when Knacker’s cousin Fergal arrives, the danger goes vertical. But this is merely a beginning, a gateway to horrors beyond Stephanie’s worst nightmares. And in a house where no one listens to the screams, will she ever get out alive?
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my review copy.
This is a story in two parts; the nightmare at Edgware Road and the aftermath. Stephanie moves into a grotty bedsit at 82 Edgware Road. Stephanie is a teenager, totally on her own and at the mercy of landlords, temp agencies and the uncaring world of 2014. Living life one step away from homelessness and one meal away from starvation, Stephanie is in a vulnerable position. Her landlord, Knacker and his cousin, Fergal soon begin to make life hard for Stephanie. She cannot get a night of decent sleep and is kept awake with strange nightmares and chilling sounds. What is going on at 82 Edgware Road?
This is what I would call a proper nightmarish ghost story and a great read for the dark winter months. I don’t often read horror. This book reminded me of why I should. It’s fun, in a twisted way. Nevill has made horror very accessible and fresh, with the female victim at the mercy of dark forces and strange happenings. The story had elements of the classic haunted house stories, with cries in the night and strange noises. It reminded me of the slasher movies, where the heroine (usually) has to confront the dark danger again and again.
I enjoyed the drama at 82 Edgware Road and was amused by Knacker and his turn of phrase. It had a very accurate, clever sense of realism, especially describing the poverty and hardship Stephanie was existing in. For anyone who had lived in a bedsit, with shared hallways and timed lighting, it will all seem very familiar and accurate. The noises through the walls and the lack of privacy mean that Stephanie can hear too much from her neighbours. I do not know how she managed to stay for more than a couple of nights there. I was willing her to move out and to escape from the creepy atmosphere. I wanted someone to take pity on her.
It could have been much more dark, but for Knacker. Knacker was hilarious. A very entertaining ghostly read, with a message about landlords and their evil ways. I think the moral of the story is that if you hear disturbing noises in the night GET OUT!