I came to this book expecting another hell raising ride of chaotic imagery (that I experienced with his short story collection Demons by Daylight) but this was far more conventionally written. Still in evidence though was Campbell's subtle approach to horror. Before the opening chapter was a quote from David Aylward:"Writers (of supernatural fiction), who used to strive for awe and achieve fear, now strive for fear and achieve only disgust."
This shows Campbells appreciation of such classic writers as Blackwood, Machen and Lovecraft and his preference for their approach to horror over that employed by many modern writers (naming no names!) He is setting out his intention to write a modern horror in the classic tradition and I have to say that he does so successfully.
Indeed, I do not know if I have ever read such a slow and graduated build up of unease and fear towards it's dramatic conclusion. I was put in mind, in many ways, of Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo" but that is only a novlette. In this 309 page novel it is an even longer build up. There is a danger that it might feel drawn out and for some it will probably feel that way, but personally my interest was sustained throughout and the eventual tension towards the end almost agonising to endure. An effect one could not possibly achieve with a more direct approach.
Reading this has only increased my respect for Ramsey Campbell and I look forward to reading more of his work.