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Review: No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Neville

No One Gets Out Alive

Adam Neville

When Stephanie moves to the notoriously cheap Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, she’s just happy to find an affordable room for rent that’s large enough not to deserve her previous room’s nickname, “the cell.” The eccentric — albeit slightly overly-friendly — landlord seems nice and welcoming enough, the ceilings are high, and all of the other tenants are also girls. Things aren’t great, but they’re stable. Or at least that’s what she tells herself

My Rating:

Well-known horror novelist Adam Nevill (The Ritual) does not disappoint in his latest stand-alone novel, No One Gets Out Alive. The unrelenting story follows Stephanie, a young woman estranged from her stepmother, who is struggling to keep her head above water.

With scarce jobs and no safety net to protect her from a fall of any kind, she finds herself with scarce options and little hope. With the scant funds she has at her disposal she rents a room in a derelict home so detestable that she’s already looking for a way out before her first day there is done.

If things weren’t bad enough, Stephanie is quickly submerged in abject horrors that come in the form of internal despair and ghostly apparitions. The immediate and rapid transformation between the real and surreal is a whirlwind that spins out of control, further servicing the horror and unrelenting suspense prevalent from the very start through to the end.

Rather than simply relying on only the ghoulish ghost story, Nevill also pits his heroine against a cartoonish duo; think a demented and cruel version of The Twits by Roald Dahl.

Fictionalized as they may be, his two vile villains Knacker and Fergal remind us that true horror can be found in the real world on an all too terrifying regularity. Their haunting depravity, mostly of a sexual nature, is thankfully never directed at Stephanie, which comes as a welcome change from horror fiction’s status quo.

Nevill has an inimitable and verbose way of writing that extends this book to its massive length. With permeable descriptions of scents and the disgusting surroundings, No One Gets Out Alive is as suffocating as the described “…cattle hormone-harsh, the sulphur of swine, the vinegar of vomit…” ghost of one of the more corrupt specters making their appearance among the pages.

Beautifully gruesome, igniting terror of the mind and soul, Nevill’s work always leaves one feeling as if they have lived through the harrowing tragedies he’s put down in black and white. Time for a very long, hot shower. Here’s hoping no shadows make their way through the mist, and no cold handed grip will freeze upon the flesh.

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