An eerie folk horror novel from the author of Cunning Folk, The Reddening, The Ritual, No One Gets Out Alive and the four times winner of the August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel.
'A watcher may remark that after sleeping for so long, the building appears to have been roused.'
Struggling with money, raising a child alone and fleeing a volatile ex, Jess McMachen accepts a job caring for an elderly patient. Flo Gardner - a disturbed shut-in and invalid. But if Jess can hold this job down, she and her daughter, Izzy, can begin a new life.
Flo's vast home, Nerthus House, may resemble a stately vicarage in an idyllic village, but the labyrinthine interior is a dark, cluttered warren filled with pagan artefacts. And Nerthus House lives in the shadow of a malevolent secret. A sinister enigma determined to reveal itself to Jess and to drive her to the end of her tether. Not only is she stricken by the malign manipulation of the Vicarage's bleak past, but mercurial Flo is soon casting a baleful influence over young Izzy. What appeared to be a routine job soon becomes a battle for Jess's sanity and the control of her child.
It's as if an ancient ritual was triggered when Jess crossed the threshold of the vicarage. A rite leading her and Izzy to a terrifying critical mass, where all will be lost or saved.
"You don't read an Adam Nevill horror novel: you live it" The Guardian
'In refining the tale of supernatural horror to its essence, M.R. James increased the terror, and among his living inheritors is Adam Nevill' - Ramsey Campbell