Publishers Weekly review of The Ritual

By 17th December 2011Uncategorised

“And on the second day things did not get better.” This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood’s classic story “The Wendigo.” Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren’t physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated “thing” hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil.” Agent: John Jarrold. (Feb.)

I’m absolutely thrilled with the cover too

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  • Is this the cover to be used for the US version then?
    f so, it's good. I think it works fairly well all things considered, but I'm glad I have the original. Which is far more atmospheric & mysterious. Just like it's contents.

    In response to those who've called THE RITUAL a hybrid of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT & TCM, I find it quite interesting that your inspiration was apparently more from a mix of THE BWP & DELIVERENCE. Because, during the entire time that I was reading the novel, I was wondering if you'd ever seen a little known Canadian chiller from the late '70s by the name of ( coincidently enough ) RITUALS. Which was a rather low budget, but HIGHLY effective riff on DELIVERENCE, but set in the remote wilds of northern Ontario in Canada.
    If you haven't seen it or heard of it before now, by all means look it up & find a copy as soon as you're able. I believe it was just finally released on DVD here Stateside last year.
    Had it not been pretty much relegated to the drive ins & grindhouses of the day because of it's modest origins, I think it might have garnered Hal Holbrick some serious acclaim that year for his performance.

    Here's hoping that with your further & continuing success as a novelist that we'll soon here something of THE RITUAL being optioned & put on a fast track for production. In the right hands, I believe it could make for an absolutely terrifying on screen experience.

    Have read all three of your books just within the past several months & am now impatiently waiting for your next one this coming spring.
    Were I to find something softly woolen & extract a wee splash of red from it on this winter soltice, might I perhaps get you to send me a signed ARC?
    Pretty please? LOL


  • Thanks for the kind words, Jim. And for checking out all three books.

    I have been made aware of the film The Rituals after the book came out, and even watched the opening on YouTube recently. I must see it sometime. The title was actually suggested by my publisher; my title was Children of the Beast, but it was deemed too metal/a mouthful, so the title was a curious coincidence. I don't think any of us were even aware of the film. I was quite young when I first saw Deliverance and it always stayed with me.

    Fingers crossed re a Ritual film. Will post any news if it ever comes to a production.

    Will do my best re an ARC, though I only ever get two copies. Remind me next May.

    Thanks again for the interest and support!


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