Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: Apartment 16 by Adam Neville

Binding: B-Format Paperback
Pub. Date: 01-07-2010
Category: Horror & Ghost Stories
Imprint: Pan
Pages: 368 page/s
Stock: Reprinting, Unavailable
Price: $22.99 AUD

Some doors are better left closed...

In Barrington House, an up market block in London, there is an empty apartment. No one goes in, no one comes out. And it's been that way for 50 years. Until the night watchman hears a disturbance after midnight and investigates. What he experiences is enough to change his life forever.

A young American woman, Apryl, arrives at Barrington House. She's been left an apartment by her mysterious Great Aunt Lillian who died in strange circumstances. Rumors claim Lillian was mad. But her diary suggests she was implicated in a horrific and inexplicable event decades ago.

Determined to learn something of this eccentric woman, Apryl begins to unravel the hidden story of Barrington House. She discovers that a transforming, evil force still inhabits the building. And the doorway to Apartment 16 is a gateway to something altogether more terrifying...

Author Information

Adam Neville has been a lifelong fan of horror. He lives in London and is currently working on his next book.


I had never heard of Adam Neville before receiving the media release for Apartment 16, which sold me completely. The only problem was it was out of stock for review copies until recently, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting my copy to dig into.

This book is a traditional supernatural horror story written in a concise and fast flowing manner. Once you open the covers and delve into this horrific building, you are a hostage until you leave via the back cover. With the amount of profanity, graphic gore and sex around in the media now, it takes a lot to shock, scare or thrill us anymore. Neville has written a master piece here that will compel you to keep the lights on throughout the entire house after you’ve read this book.
The details contained throughout the novel give you an insight into the amount of research Neville must have put into this book to make it read almost like a true story. There are references to actual books etc to egg the reader on to checking out their local library to find these pieces of work to add even more thrills to this story.

Apartment 16 is about Barrington House, an apartment building in London's upmarket Knightsbridge district. Behind its impressive facade it retains the vestiges of the lifestyle of affluence its now mostly elderly residents once enjoyed. Within its walls the aged millionaires stay hidden from the harsh reality of contemporary urban life, shrouded in the elegant ambience of a bygone era.

The main character, Seth, is an aspiring artist who works as a night watchman at Barrington House to support his true passion. If you’ve even done shift work, you would appreciate the eeriness of the late night patrols Seth regularly conducts. Add to this the fact that he thinks he hears strange noises lurking in the darkness and seemingly endless depths of the building. As with most haunted buildings, there is one particular place of great supernatural disturbance, in this case it is Apartment 16, which has remained unoccupied for many years. It is here that he comes into contact with something of the darkness that lies at the heart of Barrington House, an encounter that opens doors for an even greater darkness to enter his life.

Now the stage is set, enter a young American woman, Apryl, who travels to Barrington House to view the inheritance left to her by her eccentric, great aunt Lily, who died in peculiar circumstances. Apryl has no intention of remaining in London; she is fully decided upon selling the property as soon as possible and returning to the US. Then she discovers her great aunt's diaries, and the strange ramblings contained within inspire a curiosity in her. She decides to stay a little longer, and to investigate the life of her great aunt. Like Seth, Apryl begins to open doors of her own, and as with him, the evil that permeates Barrington House and in particular apartment 16, gathers around her too.

I hope that this book is made into a movie in the near future. It has all the elements that would create a brilliant horror flick if directed by the right person.

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