Black Cathedral (Department 18, #1)
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Black Cathedral (Department 18 #1)

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  23 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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Kristen
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...more
Leslee
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...more
Melanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine
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...more
SenoraG
Dec 15, 2008 SenoraG rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Rhonda
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
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...more
Chadwick Saxelid
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...more
Sebastian Owl
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.
Sarah
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
CJ
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
Jeannie Sloan
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.
Kay Mcgriff
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.
Hana
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...
Amanda
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
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.
Rachel
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.
Darren L.
Strong beginning, solid characters, although a little contrived. Liked most of the book but not the ending. Seemed over the top.
Kevin Lucia
Very strong read, beginning of a great new series. Maybe ended more abruptly than I would've liked, but still strong writing.
Mike
Just OK. The book had a good premise, but introduced too many plot points which weren't explored in enough details.
Charlene
It was just okay...I liked the story but the end seemed rather easy for all the issues they were having.
Kim Switzer
This is a fun, atmospheric spooky tale. Very enjoyable for lounging with late into the night.
Lili
Lili marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Marie Heartofgold
Marie Heartofgold marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Patrick Doyle
Patrick Doyle marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2014
Rebekah
Rebekah marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Lily
Lily marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Terry Ritchey
Terry Ritchey marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
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Review 1 9 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...
Demon Eyes Shelter Night Souls (Department 18, #2) Darkness Rising 2003 Darkness Rising, Volume 3: Secrets of Shadows

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