British Fantasy Award Best Horror Novel
Winner of the August Derleth Award.
In Adam Nevill's The Ritual, four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.
Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.
As the four friends struggle toward salvation they discover that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .
This novel grabs from the very first page, refuses to be laid aside, and carries the hapless reader, exhausted and wrung out, to the very last sentence.
Often horror loses its power when the evil is given a face; in this case it only gets more disturbing.
The Sunday Times
With The Ritual Nevill has crafted some of the tensest scariest horror this reviewer has read for years.