The Red House: home to the damaged genius of the late M. H. Mason, master taxidermist and puppeteer, where he lived and created some of his most disturbing works. The building and its treasure trove of antiques is long forgotten, but the time has come for his creations to rise from the darkness. Catherine Howard can’t believe her luck when she’s invited to value the contents of the house. When she first sees the elaborate displays of posed, costumed and preserved animals and macabre puppets, she’s both thrilled and terrified. It’s an opportunity to die for. But the Red House has secrets, secrets as dreadful and dark as those from Catherine’s own past. At night the building comes alive with noises and movements: footsteps, and the fleeting glimpses of small shadows on the stairs. And soon the barriers between reality, sanity and nightmare begin to collapse . . .Read full excerpt
An Entrée to House of Small Shadows
HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS is a book on the borderland of nightmare and memory. A folk horror novel and an alternative British history of the grotesque. Everything I’ve found eerie and morbid from the Medieval to the Tudor, the Victorian, and the Edwardian periods I let flow into this story. And this is the first time I’ve really concentrated on the first few years of my remembered life, in the 1970s. Imaginings, curiosities, fears. So much of what frightened me, but also enchanted me as a child, powers the book.
As a ritual exercise in entrapment, both in the past and the present, a kind of hymn to how all our histories – vast and petty – constrain us, The House of Small Shadows is often nothing short of mesmerising.The Guardian
Adam Nevill explores a primal modern phobia – the fear of dolls and puppets – and spirals off into an exploration of a long-forgotten English folk tradition that is eminently believable at the same time as it is horrifying. A wonderfully creepy and disturbing novel.The Independent
Adam Nevill’s latest horror is a compelling read where indistinguishable childhood dreams and fantasies merge with a surreal nightmarish presentSciFi Now
House of Small Shadows is highly likely to induce nightmares set to the sound of the pattering tap of tiny wooden feetSFX
As a seasoned reader of horror, I’m very pleased to say that House of Small Shadows is the most genuinely frightening book I have read in a very long time! In fact, I can honestly admit that I couldn’t bring myself to read it alone, even though I thought I was long past being scared by a book!Fantasy Book Review