Pan, out October 23
A thoroughly disturbing ghost story.
No One Gets Out Alive is the sixth novel from British author Adam Nevill, once again exploring the ghost story. The tale follows its protagonist – Stephanie Booth, a young woman struggling to earn a living and thus halt her downward momentum – as she moves into a cheap room at 82 Edgehill Road in Birmingham. From the moment she moves in she hears things – women crying, footsteps outside her room – and is deeply wary of her landlord, Knacker McGuire, and his cousin Fergal. Knacker alternates between growing angry at her questions and trying to calm her fears; to no effect.
From the start, Stephanie knows she’s made a mistake moving into the room, but every effort to raise the money to move on once more fails, and she grows more and more demoralised and fearful.
Two more girls move into the house, and Stephanie gradually realises what’s going on there – which only serves to strengthen her resolve to escape.
The last third of the book takes a real twist, and from here the reader is led inexorably to a violent and inevitable conclusion.
The author shows a masterful grip of narrative in this novel, building events and mood slowly as we follow the protagonist’s story to a terrifying conclusion that will stay with the reader long after they turn the last pages.
Verdict: A terrifying story of violence and the supernatural that deals with a monstrous evil rooted in the past. 9/10