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The Parasite

The Parasite - Ramsey Campbell This is another finely crafted story of horror in which a malevolant spirit, that entered the protagonist Rose when she was a child, gradually starts to make it's presence felt although she can only wonder at first, at her new found psychic powers, but later her nightmares begin to dominate.

There is a really slow build up of unease in this book that may leave some readers impatient for the story to develop but Campbell will not be rushed. There is a most gradual transformation of Rose's character as she discovers and comes to terms with her new found psycic powers and this innevitably begins to affect her relationship with her sceptical husband Bill. Their relationship begins to suffer but to what extent is that down to Bill's unwillingness to accept change or a sinister influence making her see things differently, say unkind things and trying to drive them apart?

Campbell also slows down the pace of the narrative by devoting many paragraphs to evoking powerful imagery, shaping mood and atmosphere. Much of the tension of the story is built this way (as opposed to relying solely on event driven tension) and it is important that, as a reader, you swallow your impatience and immerse yourself in the imagery in order to get the full benefit of what the author is trying to do.

This is a pretty bleak story as Rose is either let down or betrayed by almost everyone she knows but if you can bare that, this is a powerful and very effective horror novel that any fan of the genre should read.