In LAST DAYS by Adam Nevill, Kyle, a documentary filmmaker, is contracted by a mysterious figure to shoot a film on a notorious ’70s cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, headed by its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle’s exploration plunges him into the cruel history of the cult, which ended in a bloody massacre in the American desert. As he delves deeper, however, a greater mystery reveals itself, and Kyle finds himself haunted by strange events, ghastly artifacts, dangerous night visits, and sudden deaths among those he interviews. What exactly did the cult awaken–and what is its interest in him?
I first became impressed with Nevill’s work when I read THE RITUAL. LAST DAYS similarly blew my mind. It’s A+ horror.
Nevill takes his time developing his story and can even be ponderous, but no matter; I was hooked by the premise from the get-go as well as the mysteries promised in Kyle’s first interview with his client Max. The interviews with the cult survivors in Europe and America, interspersed throughout the book and which reveal the dark history of the cult from the inside, are as frightening as the paranormal experiences. Speaking of which, The Presences, when they show up, are truly scary, and Nevill explains them with fascinating back story as their mystery is ultimately revealed. The great thing about them is they’re not only scary, they stay scary right to the novel’s action-filled climax.
Nevill is an author to watch. He has a real talent for sticking both hands into the muck of the obscene and the brutal and inviting close inspection. His heroes are dragged through many shades of stress and terror, each response as genuine as the last. And as with THE RITUAL, his human characters can be as menacing as his monsters.
If you’re looking for a good horror story, check it out.