Force for evil. A little girl called Alice, a deaf-mute. A vision. A lady in shimmering white who says she is the immaculate conception. And Alice can suddenly hear and speak. And she can perform miracles. Soon the site of the visitation, beneath the ancient oak tree, has become a shrine, a holy place for thousands of pilgrims. But Alice is no longer the guileless child overwhelmed by her new saintliness. She has become the agent of something corrupt, a vile force that is centuries-old. Innocence and evil have become one.
James Herbert was one of Britain’s greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages. Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975.
His first novel, The Rats, was an instant bestseller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.
For all his fascination with the occult, supernatural, and morbidly fantastic, James Herbert is nevertheless capable of endowing his characters with qualities that are all too real, staining them with human imperfections and tragic shortcomings. Accordingly, Shrine offers listeners an adulterous journalist and a portentous priest, bound together through their mutual curiosity regarding a deaf mute girl able to miraculously heal the sick. Eloquent Brit Kris Dyer portrays all three characters, imbuing them with a raw narcissism and tragic heedlessness that matches the urgency and immediacy of Herbert’s storytelling. The young miracle-worker’s good deeds are compelled by an underlying evil that threatens Herbert’s anti-heroes, and only by setting aside their self-serving presumptions can they hope to escape a gruesome fate.
"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down." (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory." (Daily Mail)
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Narration = British Wildlife Documentary Style