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The Darkest Part of the Woods
by Ramsey Campbell

Category: Fiction / Horror
400 pages; ISBN: 0765307669

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Darkest Part of the Woods
Ramsey Campbell
Tor, Oct 2003, $24.95, 400 pp.
ISBN: 0765307669

American professor Dr. Lennox Price moves his family to Goodmanswood, England to study the dark legends surrounding the area especially the delusions of the nearby residents. However, instead of debunking the myths, Lennox is soon sucked into his work as a converted true believer. Thus he is committed, but quickly develops a cult following among the asylum’s crazier folks.

His daughter archivist Heather follows up on her father’s enigmatic beliefs about Goodmanswood that links them to the alchemist Nathaniel Selcouth, who resided there. Heather digs into the works of Nathaniel, who apparently was trying to fashion a messenger who would serve as his servant in seeking the outer limits of the spiritual and physical universe. Meanwhile, children insist a grotesque "sticky man" resides in the woods. Heather wonders if he exists and if he does is he the evil behind all the malevolence destroying the Price family?

THE DARKEST PART OF THE WOODS is a classic horror tale that works because of the set up by Ramsey Campbell is at its best here. The Price family are intelligent nice people who are being overwhelmed by a sinister darkness that grows ever menacing with each new page. The story line is taut as readers will feel the creepiness of the woods that transforms into something immoral and dangerous. Mr. Campbell is at his best with this superb horror thriller.

Harriet Klausner

 

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