By Ramsey Campbell
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780312870560, 352pp.)
Publication Date: July 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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Once upon a time there was a man who loved children. He loved them so much he tried to save them from their imperfect parents. Unfortunately, Hector Woollie didn't work for Child Protective Services . . . and the children he rescued, he murdered.
Once upon a time, Leslie had a happy marriage, a happy son, and a happy life. Now divorced, she is trapped in ongoing battles with her ex-husband, Roger, especially over their newly-adolescent son, Ian.
When Ian and his young stepsister disappear, Roger insists the boy kidnapped the girl, while Leslie thinks Ian might have run away. She prays that her son is near and will come home soon.
Ian is near-right next door, just on the other side of a shared wall. Ian can hear his parents fighting and his mother's desperate weeping, but he can't call for help. Hector Woollie has him and his stepsister, and if either child makes a peep, the madman will slit both their throats.
Ramsey Campbell has won more awards than any other living author of horror or dark fantasy, including four World Fantasy Awards, nine British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and two International Horror Guild Awards. Critically acclaimed both in the US and in England, Campbell is widely regarded as one of the genre's literary lights for both his short fiction and his novels. His classic novels, such as The Face that Must Die, The Doll Who Ate His Mother, and The Influence, set new standards for horror as literature. His collection, Scared Stiff, virtually established the subgenre of erotic horror.
Ramsey Campbell's works have been published in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and several other languages. He has been President of the British Fantasy Society and has edited critically acclaimed anthologies, including Fine Frights. Campbell's best known works in the US are Obsession, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, and Nazareth Hill.
"This thrilling book is Ramsey Campbell's finest work to date."--Peter Straub
"A terrifying, ferocious, and deeply compassionate book."--Sarah Smith, author of The Vanished Child