Released on 07 October 2011.

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The Ritual

3.61 based on 7308 ratings & 1033 reviews on Goodreads.com

2012 Winner

British Fantasy Award Best Horror Novel

Synopsis

It was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition.

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise.

A shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the floors. The residue of old rites for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .

In the media

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.
Publishers Weekly
Often horror loses its power when the evil is given a face; in this case it only gets more disturbing.
The Sunday Times
It has been over a week now since I finished this book and it has really stayed with me and I find myself thinking about it on numerous occasions, and this is another very good sign.
Fantasy Book Review