Top 10 James Herbert Books You Must Read

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James Herbert (1943-2013) was a literary maestro of chilling tales, captivating millions of readers during his long career. JOANNA HAGUE lists her top 10 James Herbert books.

Top James Herbert Books
British horror writer James Herbert

James Herbert will always be one of my favourite authors, I was in my teens when I read my first novel by him, and he got me hooked!

His first published novel was in 1974 and does feature in my top 10, The Rats. Over his career, James Herbert sold 54 million copies worldwide. In March 2013 he sadly passed away, I have to admit I was heartbroken, the last book that was published was Ash, this also features in my top 10.

He is and always will be the reason that I fell in love with reading and will always remain up there with my favourite authors. 

My top 10 James Herbert books

1. Haunted (1988)

This was the first novel I read, and it hooked me in right from the start. This book follows a detective called David Ash, a psychic investigator. The case takes him to a haunted house, Ash, however, is haunted by much more than the spirits that reside in the house. This gripped me from the get-go, it was one that I couldn’t put down. I was curious all the way through to find out what happened, if Ash would survive the investigation and if he would get to the bottom of the hauntings. Buy Haunted on Amazon.

2. The Rats (1974)

This book could actually come true, as we have seen in the past, London is plagued by rats, but they are not normal rats, they have evolved. It grips you even when it turns to the more squeamish description of people trying to escape the jaws of the rats. Read The Rats Review on Spooky Isles. Buy The Rats on Amazon.

3. Others (1994)

This starts off as a what you think is a classic missing person’s story, however, it instantly gets you when you realise that the child, they are looking for is dead and has been since birth. It is full of twists and turns, uncovering secrets that had long since been buried and making you not want to put the book down to the very last page. Buy Others on Amazon.

4. The Secrets of Crickley Hall (2001)

Moving home should be a new adventure, however, soon things are not what they seem, voices can be heard in the dead of night and shadows appear out of the corner of your eyes. This sounds like a classic haunted house novel, however, this is so far from the truth; it is a gripping tale of a family that just want to keep their new home, but will they survive. Buy The Secret of Crickley Hall on Amazon.

5. Nobody True (1997)

This book gets you from the get-go, everyone has an out of body experience at least once in their lives but what happens when you return to your body, and you have been murdered. The killer knows who your family is, and they are next, but what can you do if you have no physical presence, how will you stop the killer. This book fills your head with so many questions you just have to get to the end to find the answers. Buy Nobody True on Amazon.

6. ’48 (1993)

This story is set post war; a deadly virus has been released and only a handful of the population are immune. The ones that have been infected will do anything to survive. Following an American pilot whose blood is precious, can he survive another war? This story grips all the way through, it is a really good example of an historical horror. Buy ’48 on Amazon.

7. Ash (2011)

This book follows David Ash on another investigation, this was the last novel published before James Herbert passed away. Ash investigates unexplained happening at a retreat for the wealthy. It keeps you hooked on every page turn, and you feel like you are right there investigating with Ash. I loved this book right to the end but it made me upset when I had finished knowing that there would be no more novels from the epic horror writer. Buy Ash on Amazon.

8. Ghosts of Sleath (1992)

This is another instalment from David Ash and his investigations into a quiet village called Sleath. As the story progresses, the more Ash has his sanity tested with dark forces and ghosts around every bend. Can the ghosts really reach out and touch you? Ash is determined to find out before he loses a grip on reality. Fantastic book, full of twists and secrets to be discovered. Buy Ghost of Sleath on Amazon.

9. The Fog (1975)

In a quiet village, a sudden tremor causes a massive hole to develop and swallow up anything in its path. What emerges from the crater seems to have a mind of its own, causing death and destruction wherever it goes. The Fog looks at natural disasters and the possibility that all of the events could happen. Great book leaving you wanting more. Buy The Fog on Amazon.

10. Fluke (1978)

Who wouldn’t want to be an animal, lazing around all day, getting fed and sleeping. Fluke is a flea ridden dog who always knew there was something more. Memories flood in while he is sleeping, and he goes in search of the truth. One day the penny drops and what was now a dog had not always been. This is a great twist on fantasy horror and surprised me right to the end. Buy Fluke on Amazon.

Tell us your favourite James Herbert books in the comments section below!

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