Apartment 16 – Adam Nevill

Having read and really enjoyed Adam Nevill’s previous horror novel, Banquet for the Damned, I really looked forward to getting my hands on this one.

Apartment 16 is set mainly in Barrington House, an upmarket block in London. It’s in a very rich area and is full of loaded and eccentric inhabitants. Seth is the new night watchman and after a few shifts, he starts hearing noises coming from an apartment. Nothing unusual, you might think, except the apartment has been empty for fifty years. Seth investigates the noises as best he can without actually entering the apartment – it’s expressly forbidden. Soon, though, his curiosity gets the better of him and he gets his hands on the keys; and enters. What he sees and experiences in apartment 16 is enough to change his life forever.

Another viewpoint in the book comes from Apryl, a young American woman. She’s travelled to London, and more specifically Barrington House because a deceased relative has left her and her mother an apartment in the block. It appears that Apryl’s aunt died in odd circumstances. After doing some digging around, Apryl finds this to be true, but nobody will talk. It’s obvious there’s some big secret hiding in Barrington House, but the elderly and possibly senile inhabitants will not say what it is. And the more Apryl digs, the worse things get, to the extent that people start dying.

As Apryl creeps closer and closer to the truth, Seth’s experiences in the building become more and more peculiar and presently his experience brings him closer to Apryl. Which is not good news for either of them.

Overall, this is a damn scary book. It took a little while to warm up, but once the weirdness came through it started to get creepy. Then, as parts of the story slowly revealed themselves, it got more and more scary. The book has obviously been crafted so you don’t know what’s going on until the last possible minute, and it’s this technique which keeps you on edge. The anticipation is what made it so terrifying.

This is not a book you can rush, because you’ll miss something then suddenly realise you don’t ‘get it.’ It’s also not a beach or holiday book. It’s one to scare the shit out of yourself with and possibly then sleep with the lights on. Definitely recommended for fans of horror and people that loved Banquet for the Damned.

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