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Black Cathedral (Department 18 #1)

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  298 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
At an old manor house on a remote Scottish island, six managers of a large corporation arrive for a week-long stay. Within days, they will all suffer horrifying deaths and their bodies will never be found. The government assigns the case to Department 18, the special unit created to investigate the supernatural and the paranormal. However, this is no mere haunted house. Th ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Leisure Books (first published December 30th 2008)
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269th out of 596 books — 54 voters
Black Cathedral by L.H. Maynard
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1st out of 1 book — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,344)
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Mar 06, 2015 Latasha rated it liked it
I liked this book. it kinda reminded me of john Constantine investigates hell house but a little less awesome.
This was a terrible book. I feel bad for giving it one star but it really was a chore to read because it was just so so horrible. I think that the authors just had a grand vision of what they wanted to do but lacked the talent or the forethought to actually make that vision happen.

Black Cathedral is a hodgepodge of haunted house, conspiracy, and action novels. It's like someone took Relic, mixed in some Hellboy B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground, The Da Vinci Code, and threw in some Hell House for good me
Dec 23, 2008 Kristen rated it liked it
This is my first venture into the world of Maynard and Sims, so I don’t know if this is part of a series or not. The little blurb under the title of “A Department 18 Novel” implies to me that there are more novels (or intended novels) about the group from Department 18.

So who is Department 18? Why they are a government group of Psychics, telekinetics, and ghost busters… not that we get to see them bust any ghosts or anything. So what is Department 18 doing? Well when they aren’t bickering among
Aug 29, 2011 Melanie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2016 Angela rated it liked it
All I can say about this book is .... It was interesting & kept me wanting to read it, but the writing was not great. And the ending was horrible. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because it kept my interest. I'm glad It's over.
May 19, 2009 Christine rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish, horror
I'm working on a ghost story right now and I picked this book up because it looked like the sort of thing that would get me in the right mind frame. I was wrong. I only got 40 pages in, but in that short frame, it was able to take all of the best parts of Hell House and twist them into a story that, while keeping the cringe factor, felt so completely cliched that I almost wanted to read it as a check list of what not to write.
When the characters were disappearing one at a time, yet still refusi
Dec 15, 2008 SenoraG rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any horror lover
Great, scary read. I would love to see this book made into a movie. I was seeing it in my head as I read it. Very creepy.
Nov 25, 2012 Rhonda rated it liked it
There's something amateurish about this book, especially with regard to plot construction and to a lesser extent characterization. At the start, there are two separate timelines involving the same people running as well as the one that sets up Department 18. Later, during the Manse investigation, there are long swathes of history-telling. Finally, the reader is not really prepared for the who is who of the final battle, although all the characters were presented previously. Most of the character ...more
Patrick Hayes
Oct 23, 2011 Patrick Hayes rated it liked it
An interesting novel that reads like a British interpretation of Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D. Something odd is happening in an old manor house on a Scottish island, and through flashback, we see it. A team is dispatched to find out what happened and all kinds of hell break loose. I appreciated that the gore level was kept to a bare minimum, yet the scares were really good--something that much of Leisure's fiction doesn't have. Also a plus is that the title location doesn't appear until the last 17 pa ...more
Robert Beveridge
L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims, The Black Cathedral (Leisure, 2009)

Maynard and Sims (who according to fantasticfiction have been at this as a partnership since 1979, though only one book exists under their names before 2000) kick off a new series with The Black Cathedral, a horror/mystery centered on Department 18, who seem to be a secret British government agency specializing in the investigation of paranormal phenomena. And honestly, my biggest problem with the book may not be a problem at al
Chadwick Saxelid
Nov 23, 2014 Chadwick Saxelid rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The psychics of Department 18 (the UK's crack paranormal defense unit) are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearances plaguing an inhospitable and remote Scottish island. What they find is a very old and very powerful evil.

The first one hundred pages of Black Cathedral were filled with icy little moments and creepy images that scared the ever living crap out of me. Then the investigation started and, while the book held my interest, the icy little moments and creepy images began to lose t
Sebastian Owl
Feb 16, 2014 Sebastian Owl rated it did not like it
This book is so bad. Once I embraced its awfulness, it became hilarious. Like reading a Syfy movie of the week. The term "Muscular Christianity" will now be a phrase I use when referring to religious zealots.
Jessica O'callaghan
Dec 08, 2015 Jessica O'callaghan rated it did not like it
Where to even begin???
Writing was terrible and the back-and-fourths between different perspectives was dreary. I loved the view of the main character but then a million others were added In and I got confused.
Apr 05, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
I loved this book- it was suspenseful, and had me on the edge of my seat, wondering how things would turn out- and then, the ending. My god, what a stupid ending. It was so rushed and contrived and overdone, it was like the author decided he needed to end the book but didn't know how so he threw in a ridiculous battle scene and seemed to contradict everything that went before. Really disappointing- I wanted to give it five stars right up until the last twenty pages. I should give it one or two, ...more
Nov 11, 2013 CJ rated it liked it
This started out as a fairly promising "Psychics investigate a troubled house" book, but the beginning was a bit slow, and bogged down by a lot of completely unnecessary personal issues. Then, things started to get good, only to take off at the speed of a runaway train. The finale felt rushed and unfinished, and a lot of the carefully laid-out sub-plots seemed to go nowhere or ended totally unsatisfactorily. It feels like this book ended halfway through, and I liked it just enough to wish that i ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
liked this one
Jeannie Sloan
Dec 12, 2009 Jeannie Sloan rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Not a bad little book.I had fun reading it.I am a sucker for haunted house stories so what could be better than a 'Black Catherdral' that is haunted?
The story starts a little slow but then picks right up.I learned a few things about some of the more common religions that I didn't know which is always enjoyable.
This is a good beach book.Nothing to heavy between the pages.The ending could have been a little better but overall I think that if you want a fun,light read this is a good book for you.
Sep 10, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it
A mildly engaging horror story. It did get a little too caught up in the romance / hand holding aspect between a few of the characters fro my taste, but I thought overall the plot held well. Some interesting integration of the Ley Lines into the story - I like when there's a factual take-away from a book like this.

Of course, the ending left room for the sequel . . . .
Kay Mcgriff
May 04, 2013 Kay Mcgriff rated it it was ok
This is not the kind of book I normally pick up, but a student donated it for my classroom library. I can see some students who are horror fans might like this one, but I can think of much better books in this genre. There are a few scenes that make me reluctant to put it on my shelf.
May 23, 2013 Aura rated it it was ok
Shame could not give two and a half stars but the potential of this book just seem to have gradually dropped until one reached a very hurried ending. The best chapter was definitely the first one. Still, will try another book of the Department 18 series when it comes out...
Oct 31, 2013 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: paranormal
Didn't turn out to be a favorite. This was on a daily deals and seemed to be interesting. Something unexplained going on and a team of "specialists" to investigate. This book jumped around a lot and the ending was very confusing and disappointing.
BJ Haun
Jan 29, 2016 BJ Haun rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Promising start, lagging middle, train-wreck ending. I feel kinda bad giving it two stars, but the ending read like the authors were getting near their page limit and just had to find a way to end the story really quick.
May 24, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
Had a really great build up and so much could have been done with this book but unfortunately the author decided to finish the book without a real ending. It seemed rushed at the end and kind of ran out of ideas.
Sherri Smith
Jul 29, 2015 Sherri Smith rated it really liked it
Came across this little gem in a used bookstore & really enjoyed it! It was a quick read, although it was a little slow in spots. Looking forward to the next book in the Department 18 series.
Darren L.
Nov 26, 2010 Darren L. rated it liked it
Strong beginning, solid characters, although a little contrived. Liked most of the book but not the ending. Seemed over the top.
Kevin Lucia
Jan 03, 2009 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it
Very strong read, beginning of a great new series. Maybe ended more abruptly than I would've liked, but still strong writing.
Jan 31, 2009 Mike rated it it was ok
Just OK. The book had a good premise, but introduced too many plot points which weren't explored in enough details.
Apr 24, 2012 Charlene rated it liked it
It was just okay...I liked the story but the end seemed rather easy for all the issues they were having.
Kim Switzer
Nov 25, 2009 Kim Switzer rated it liked it
This is a fun, atmospheric spooky tale. Very enjoyable for lounging with late into the night.
Regina rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2016
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Review 1 10 Dec 31, 2008 12:50AM  
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L.H. (Len) Maynard writes supernatural horror with M.P.N. (Mick) Sims.
More about L.H. Maynard...

Other Books in the Series

Department 18 (2 books)
  • Night Souls (Department 18, #2)

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