“With his latest novel, Nevill goes beyond our concept of traditional folk horror and dives into a prehistoric nightmare with terrifying cosmic ramifications.”
Even after one million years of evolution, our nature has never changed. Sometimes the old deities and ancient rites return in the last place we’d think to look.
For Katrine, a lifestyle journalist, a move to the coast might be just what she needs to escape her past traumas. Then a vast burial site is found. Human remains and prehistoric artifacts are found in Brickburgh, and Katrine finds herself caught in a terrifying shadow. Across sixty thousand years, the site was home to human sacrifice and cannibalism, and weird images of their gods remain on the walls of the cave.
For Helene, the horror is much more personal. Her brother Lincoln was lost in the Brickburgh caves six years ago. Before he vanished, he recorded strange subterranean noises in the caves, which were found during the search for him.
Local people claim to have seen the mythical red folk. Here, outsiders are unwelcome, and the townspeople believe an evil power lingers just beneath the surface of the earth. Now, Kat and Helene have no choice … they must confront the evil to save themselves and the ones they love.
Why we’re excited about this book:
One of the world’s most renowned horror writers, Adam Nevill is the author of The Ritual, House of Small Shadows, Last Days, Under a Watchful Eye, No One Gets Out Alive, and the forthcoming The Reddening, among others. His short fiction is collected in two volumes—Some Will Not Sleep and Hasty For the Dark—and his novel The Ritual was adapted for a feature film by Imaginarium in 2016. With his latest novel, Nevill goes beyond our concept of traditional folk horror and dives into a prehistoric nightmare with terrifying cosmic ramifications. Adam lives in Devon, England. For more information about Adam and his books, please visit him at his website.
Why Adam is excited about this book:
“I’m looking forward to what readers think of The Reddening, my ninth horror novel. I try and distinguish each novel with the story and through the settings, but also with distinctive aims or goals for what I want the book to achieve aesthetically. So, with this novel I wanted to bring closer together a thriller element in which a cast of ordinary people, with no belief of the unworldly, or susceptibility to supernormal dread, find themselves plunged into the very heart of the inexplicable that is determined by a specific place geographically (and below that location); each character has a story path that leads to a critical mass and the very heart of the mystery and revelation of what has been happening in that area (in this case, for tens of thousands of years).
“The Reddening is also very much a folk horror story—the core concepts are present with remote rural locations, isolated communities with distinctive indigenous traditions, something demoniac being drawn from the ground, outsiders being unwelcome and treated horribly, and all in a world in which the natural landscape itself is a character from which the story actually arises. But I wanted to eschew the window-dressing of much folk-horror: the Green Man, maypoles, dancing, folk rhymes, a folk magic in tune with growing seasons. This was to be folk magic that was even darker, more ancient and savage; a folk horror that was prehistoric in nature and origin, not pre-Roman or medieval, that produces a cosmic horror dimension. So, perhaps more than in any other story, since my first novel, I’ve anchored this novel in distinct folk horror stylings and structured it like a contemporary thriller.
“There is also something very British about this story, and retro: a couple of early responses from early readers have already key-worded “Hammer films” and “seventies British folk horror films”, so there is a post-war to the seventies vibe here that readers are picking up on. In some respects I can feel Nigel Kneale’s shadow as inspiration pooling with my own shadows.”
The Reddening by Adam Nevill releases Halloween 31 October 2019 from Ritual Limited and is available for pre-order right now.