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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,131 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Nicholas Dismas is a private investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He is hired to find a missing baby and his investigation leads him to discover the dark secret of the Others, and to resolve the enigma of his own existence.
Published July 1st 2000 by MacMillan General Books (first published April 9th 1999)
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The Rats by James HerbertThe Fog by James HerbertLair by James HerbertThe Dark by James HerbertDomain by James Herbert
The best of James Herbert
7th out of 24 books — 20 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
286th out of 1,152 books — 3,439 voters

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Community Reviews

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I'm liking James Herbert more and more the more I read him. This book was a powerhouse and not just by sheer volume. It was creative, well written and (as the author intended accodring to his afterword) very very disturbing. The book starts off with a fascinating premise, then progresses as a detective story with a very original and atypical protagonist, it does have some supernatural moments, but the geniune horror of the plot comes from the evil that men can do. The finale stretched out over t...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
This is my second novel by James Herbert, and I'm proud to say this one gave me a nightmare. Why am I proud to say this? I read a lot of Koontz and King and love a good thriller and naturally enjoy a bit of a fright! It's hard for a writer to make the reader 'jump' or 'get the creeps' and for me it's the mark of a great author and an excellent book! It certainly gets the adrenalin pumping and the mind racing into the wee hours.

It follows that there is a skill in making a reader cry but first and...more
ok. im going to be totally unfair in this review. see, i have this extra karma chip of "free unfairness" that's expiring soon, so i have to use it, like right now. because....(spoiler alert)....


FREAKIN' PORN????!!!!!

ok that felt totally good to scream, perhaps i should have not done it at work, ah well...but seriously. SERIOUSLY. the nazi-ish doctor bought and engineered (shocker) severely (and almost x-men-y) deformed creatures/people not for like a sup...more
Jon Recluse
An exploration into the depths of human depravity, where science crosses into sadism, in a world where broken souls in twisted flesh struggle along the path of pain towards the brass ring of redemption and peace.
A novel of unparalleled emotional power, this one will leave even the most jaded heart shaken to it's core.
Ugh...considering not bothering to finish this book. I'm almost halfway through and the plot hasn't even begun to show itself in any form. The main character is a deformed hunchback private investigator, which is pretty cool, but the author likes to mention his deformities and shame as often as possible. This could definitely be an interesting avenue to go down, but it's totally ham-fisted here, as are the constant drug's just awkward, like listening to your parents joke about "s...more
James Herbert goes from strength to strength with this complex, deeply absorbing, realistic and gripping tale which is parts supernatural horror, part mystery, part thriller, all pretty sick. It’s very well written and certainly has the edge over recent books by Stephen King I’ve read.

This is not to say that the story is flawless; far from it. Herbert uses a distinctive style which will be off-putting to some readers : the slow-burn. The first two thirds of the book is extremely slowly paced, v...more
Excellent book= horrifying, sad, funny, poignant, mysterious. Wow I really like Nicholas Dismas. I wish there were more featuring this character.
So even though I am a HUGE horror fan, this was my first James Herbert I believe. I did enjoy the way he wrote, I think he has a deft skill in providing the situation and characters in a detailed way. However he is somewhat clumsy in structure and the book was needlessly long. Saying that I did enjoy it, even if it started to take a troubling path towards the end.

One particular element I can pick out to say was decent about the story was his involvement of Brighton. I did live there a while bac...more
Everyone deserves a second chance, the underpinning emotion throughout the book can one who has lived a life of sin be redeemed through a second chance? Others seems to show that even one corrupted soul can be redeemed by living a life as one of those he previously mocked - a cruel, yet ingenius, twist of irony, which plays out for the betterment of our protagonist's fate through the morally correct choices he makes in his second life.

In good ol' Herbert fashion this book isn't without it's spin...more
Dear God where do I start? This book was without doubt the nastiest one I have read for a long time... Wickedly well written, James Herbert at his best, but a disturbing glimpse into real horror, made all the more scary by the fact that it could and from his end piece has happened... Being slightly handicapped myself made the story even more real for me as I felt real empathy for Dis and Constance... No amount of money would enduce me to read it again and I will be deleting this from my Kindle s...more
To start off, Nick Dismas is one of the most unique characters I have come across. **if you haven't read this, I'm not going to add anymore**
What starts out looking like a mystery in a search of a missing son for a client...turns into anything but. What Dis finds in an upscale nursing home, is unimaginable. This is a creepy, disgusting and sad story rolled in to one. What made it even more of a creepy story, was Mr. Herbert's end note. Based on a true incident years ago in London.
His last senten...more
I was quite disappointed with this book, as I really love James Herbert he is such a talented author and I really loved the main character, but the book was just not my thing :(
Shehroze Ameen
I love this book. its really involving in terms of its characters. The main character himself, Dismas, is cynical because of his health condition - that is in itself a very significant tool used for the progression in this story. This work, is morbid, and relentless, when it comes to its descriptions. Frightening business, especially in its ending.
The main antagonist, in my opinion, came off as too one dimensional (as well as his ending). Not saying he wasn't convincing (a man who can collect "O...more
Nov 28, 2012 Jinx marked it as to-read
Awful, dont know why i bothered to finish it! The book is about a disfigured private detective looking for a presumed dead baby taken at birth from its mother. The investigation leads him to a Rest Home, where a mad doctor is experimenting on severely disabled children and a woman who becomes a love interest for the main character. At best, i'd say i think James Herbert was smoking something dodgy when writing this book! Its wacky!
Jakub Nowak
The best thing about the book was that I managed to finish it. But this is probably due to the fact that I veeeeery rarely put books aside. 'Others' was not a rewarding read - it was to much of a mix-up of good things and horrible things (in the literary sense). But the bad sides prevailed - to many cliches, to many mundane monologues...

I do not recommend it - it would be 3/10
James Tatam
A good horror book for what its worth, although, as usual with Herbert, this book is more than extreme -- its perpetually rancid. There were many times when I had to put it down due to the nature of the gore, which is expected from James, so I guess he is doing something right.

As for the core plot element of this sanguinary bloodbath, is decent but very slow. Mystery and questions are the only thing that help us crawl through the 200 page slog before the real plot starts. The core of the novel...more
Truly horrifying tale.. I don't know if "like" is the right thing to say.
"I moved the light on, dreading what else I might find, but somehow powerless to stop myself, horribly gripped by these macabre exhibits, repulsed by them, yet curious to see more, as if I were under their spell."

This quote from the book describes exactly how I felt reading it. Horror stories that are disturbing, rather than gross, are much more effective and this was no exception. There was a distinct sense of being uncomfortable throughout, which I thought was great.

The story begins like a nor...more
Startling thriller- what happens to babies who are born so grotesque that the medical personell lie and say that the baby was stillborn? To make matters worse what if experiments were done on these poor souls and the only intervention comes through an investigator who is himself born with defects and a psychic who can feel these others calling out to her. Who can refuse a book with the following sentence on the first page: "My redemption began in Hell"? Spine tingling horror with an electrifying...more
Adam Wilson
It seems that every time I read an excellent James Herbert novel, a not so great one comes along in its wake. Others is the not so great kind, made all the more disappointing because I finished it only a few days after The Ghosts of Sleath which is superior in more ways than I can think of. The story behind Others is interesting enough but it was just so damn dull through most of the book. Some interesting things happen but I didn’t really get involved until the last quarter of the novel. That q...more
M.G. Mason
Books like Others really demonstrate the adaptive writing style of Britain's best contemporary horror writer. WHen he published his first novel The Rats in the 1970s, it stirred up controversy for its gruesome writing style. It is now (thankfully) seen as a horror classic and the writing style is praised as a necessary plot device for the brutality of the post-war inner city deprivation of the London that Herbert grew up in. Having just looked at his list of novels published to date has made me...more

I haven't read James Herbert for a few years, but a friend recommended this and I liked it. I'd forgotten how well he writes...

The story is good, Nik Dismas, Dis to his small circle of friends - is a private investigator,(and a man with his own set of problems) He is asked to look for the missing- since- birth child of a client. It seems straightforward, unable to trace the child Nik drops the case.

However, after some intervention from a clairvoyant, whom he is initially distrustful of, the inve...more
I’ve read a couple of James Herbert books before; Haunted, which I liked, Portent, which I thought was very average, and ‘48, which I tossed aside after thirty pages. That last encounter is probably the reason I haven’t picked up another Herbert title in years, but I took a chance on this one and I was pleasantly surprised.

There aren’t many books I can think of which start off with our hero in Hell, or if not Hell, purgatory at least. In life he was one of the beautiful people; a movie star from...more
Chadwick Saxelid
Nicholas Dismas, a private investigator cursed with severe physical deformities, is hired by wealthy widow Shelly Ripstone to find her missing son. Dismas is reluctant to take the case, for the child "died at birth" and all records regarding the incident were destroyed in a cataclysmic fire. But the woman is despondent, desperate and determined, and she convinces Dismas to at least try to find her long lost child. He takes the case and soon after begins to suffer nightmarish visions. Those visio...more
Geert Daelemans
Mediocre due to being too formulaic

Nicholas Dismas is a Private Investigator. When in pure Raymond Chandler style the beautiful Mrs. Ripstone enters his bleak office, it quickly becomes clear that his next case is not going to be an easy one. Years after giving birth she wants to find out what happened to her baby. At the time the doctor told her that her son died at birth, but she never got the opportunity of saying farewell to the remains. After visiting a clairvoyant she is convinced that her...more
First time reading this author and I am astounded. I deemed a sense of a British Stephen King in his writing. A little choppier, but he really made me want to care about the characters and lulled me into this seemingly docile, albeit weird, dream-like, drug induced mystery that appears fairly transparent; with nods to Wells' Dr. Moreau. Then WHAM, the horrors at the gates of hell are presented and you aren't sure you can read on, but you must.
What a HUGE disappointment. James Herbert acted like we never saw the ending coming although he pretty much revealed it in the first chapter. Wait, cool, he handed us the package and began running. Thing is he kept tripping and falling into endless word wells.

Two stars is generous. The book needed serious editing. The first person rambling is tedious. As a writer I am always in fear of the first person ramble. Herbert has his character ramble, muse and mutter about the same topic time and time...more
Steve Schlutow
This is a good book.. I liked how this hero Dis was brought back from hell to redeem himself to possibly for go eternal damnation.. The book begins in hell (with an interesting view of the damned souls), and continues with Dis (our hero) living a second life, but this life is a little more difficult to live--a true test..

I was expecting a different type of story with the others than what I read.. I knew the story began the way it did, thus I expected the "Others" to be demons and such.. No--I w...more
Paula Cavanagh
I love this story I'm a huge fan of James Herbert's and have read many of his books and I just keep coming back to this one. I don't know why it's a little slow but as you get towards the end it all happens.
Adam Spring
You know how sometimes there are things that you don't like or enjoy but can't quite put your finger on why?! Well this was one for me. It's not badly written - though the pacing could be revised slightly, there is enough action to keep the reader interested and there is enough mystery, suspense and horror to live up to the pedigree too. There is also an awful lot of the grotesque - which perhaps may be why I didn't enjoy this as much as I should have, though it doesn't usually bother me. I also...more
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his nineteen novels have sold more than forty...more
More about James Herbert...
The Fog The Rats (Rats, #1) The Dark The Secret Of Crickley Hall Haunted (David Ash, #1)

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