No One Gets Out Alive

Think your land­lord is bad?

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books - Will Sal­mon

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

634 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Adam Nevill Pub­lisher: Pan MacMil­lan Rent­ing a flat is mur­der. Any­one who’s ever en­dured damp, per­ma­nently leaky taps and dodgy land­lords will tell you that. But few have had it quite as bad as the res­i­dents of the haunted house in Adam Nevill’s lat­est.

Knacker McGuire is the odi­ous live- in land­lord of 82 Edge­hill Road, Birm­ing­ham. Pen­ni­less Stephanie moves in – and in­stantly re­grets it. There’s weep­ing from be­hind the walls, foot­steps out­side her door at night and move­ment in the shad­ows of her room. She does the sen­si­ble thing and tries to leave, but cir­cum­stances con­spire against her. And when Knacker’s cousin Fer­gal, turns up, things get re­ally bad...

Adam Nevill has forged his rep­u­ta­tion as one of the UK’s best hor­ror writ­ers by writ­ing el­e­gantly stripped down, de­cep­tively sim­ple nov­els. No One Gets Out Alive starts off as a sim­i­larly pared back take on the ghost story, but blos­soms into some­thing much grander in scale.

It’s a re­lief, frankly, be­cause while the first third is well writ­ten, it feels like an ex­er­cise in suf­fo­cat­ing, de­pres­sive mis­ery. There’s timely sub­text about the hor­rors of poverty and it’s clearly what Nevill was aim­ing for, but it makes for an un­remit­tingly grim read. Thank­fully, things kick into gear when Stephanie be­comes more proac­tive, set­ting the stage for a fi­nal act that takes the ter­ror into the wider world.

Edge­hill Road is a real part of Birm­ing­ham – though it looks a lot nicer than the book would have you be­lieve.

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