Book Review: No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill

22935767Title: No One Gets Out Alive
Author: Adam Nevill
Genre: Horror
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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?

In No One Gets Out Alive, Stephanie thinks her life can’t get any worse. But this wouldn’t be a horror novel, if things weren’t about to get ten times as bad. She ends up taking a room in a huge, but rambling, old building in desperate need of a make-over. The room is cheap, but she thinks that’s probably due to the bad state of the property. That is, until she starts hearing strange noises, even on her first night there. Ghostly stuff starts to happen: voices when no one’s around, screams in the dead of night, strange noises in the bathroom. Despite her better judgement (seriously, everyone would’ve gotten the hell out of there by then), Stephanie stays to stick it out…and then the true horror begins.

Knacker, her land lord, is a vile excuse for a human being. His cousin Fergal is easily ten times as worse. And their wicked personality is enhanced by the beings festering inside the house, a supernatural force that thrives on blood and control and sin. By then, the tension was so high I almost jumped off my seat every time someone as much as entered the room. The author has a spectacular ability of creating tension, of making the reader feel like they’re right there, alongside the main character, living through the terror too.

At first, I thought Stephanie’s character was weak, because who in their right mind doesn’t run when hell drops open you? But then I got to know her, she grew on me, and I figured she had this inner strength. She’s a lot tougher than we give her credit for. No matter what happens, she always finds the strength to keep on going.

And the house…it’s a character in its own right. You get that a lot with horror books, but no one does it as masterfully as this author. The malice grows slowly, creeping up on you, but after reading this book, you won’t be able to read “82 Edgware Road” without cringing. I guarantee it.

There’s an amazing plot twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming at all. Giving I read hundreds of horror books (not exaggerating, I read over a hundred last year) a year, that’s saying something.

The writing is sublime. The characters are realistic, even the villains. They’re vile and slimy, but they’re still three-dimensional people with hopes and aspirations, and when you look at it from their point of view, their reasoning makes sense. The plot is dark and brutal, and it might shock you, it might thrill you, but it will definitely leave you scared.


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