book cover of The Overnight
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The Overnight

A novel by

2005 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel (nominee)

Fog radiant with floodlights blocks the far end of the alley, but that isn't why his mind feels near to paralysis. His shadow has thrown itself face down in the alley, and it's no longer alone. On either side of it a squat lumpy silhouette is expanding like a misshapen balloon, either creeping closer at his back or swelling up from the tarmac, unless they're doing both. For the moment they have nothing he would want to call heads, but they have at least one arm each, altogether too long in both cases, that they're stretching out to him.

He daren't look. He can't even bear to see their increasingly malformed shadows. As he dashes into the alley he shuts his eyes tight, feeling like a child who's trying to believe he can hide in his personal dark. He has fled just a couple of steps when his fists are captured by appendages too cold and soft and uncertain of their shape to pass for hands...

Texts is the newest branch of a bookshop chain, located in the Fenny Meadows business park. Where could be less haunted? The area seems to have no history, or if it has, it's contained in a hard-to-obtain book from a small local publisher. The workers in the bookshop have more immediate problems of their own. Woody the manager is losing more than his sleep over their sales figures. Wilf's childhood inability to read is creeping back. Madeleine is convinced somebody is playing tricks with her section of the shop. Agnes and others find the service lift more vocal than it ought to be. What lurks under everyone's behaviour and under the business park will become apparent when the entire personnel have to work all night at the shop - at least, those who have survived so far. Fenny Meadows has been waiting a long time.

Jack Sullivan, editor of The Penguin Encyclopaedia of Horror and the Supernatural, writes "Ramsey Campbell has succeeded more brilliantly than any other writer in bringing the supernatural tale up to date without sacrificing the literary standards that J Sheridan Le Fanu, M R James and other early masters made an indelible part of the tradition." THE OVERNIGHT is Ramsey Campbell's latest novel of contemporary supernatural terror.

Genre: Horror

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