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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,194 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Nicholas Dismas is a Private Investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He carries a secret about himself to which not even he has the answer . . .

He is hired to find a missing baby. One that was taken away at birth . . . Or was it?

His investigation takes him to a mysteriously located place called Perfect Rest. It is supposed to be a nursing home for the eld
Paperback, 504 pages
Published July 7th 2000 by Pan Books (first published April 9th 1999)
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Upon his death a movie star handsome man jumps at the chance when offered another life to redeem himself from living such a selfish and vain life. He will have no memory of his current life and will return horribly disfigured.

As the story unravels the purpose behind his deformities become relevant and he must do whatever he can to stop the gruesom horror that he uncovers.

A good thriller with a original story.
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
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Janie Johnson
My friend and I decided to read this book together after reading the synopsis. It sounded like it would be a dark and disturbing read. Well that it was, among other things. Although I did enjoy it, I did not love it.

Nicholas Dismas is a Private Investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He carries a secret about himself to which not even he has the answer . . .

He is hired to find a missing baby. One that was taken away at birth . . . Or was it?

His investigation takes him t
Oct 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book= horrifying, sad, funny, poignant, mysterious. Wow I really like Nicholas Dismas. I wish there were more featuring this character.
Jon Recluse
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
May 30, 2011 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!
Sep 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
May 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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 :(
Julie Kellner
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is one of my least favourite James Herbert books. The premise of the story uplifting. After all don't we all want to meet our love ones again?
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Truly horrifying tale.. I don't know if "like" is the right thing to say.
Emma-Jane Goode
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. One of James Herbert's best!
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Truly disturbing novel from Herbert! I've read a few others by Herbert and they have all been pretty good horror/thriller novels but he exceeded himself with this one. It tells the story of the redemption of Nicholas Dismas, a private investigator with a deformed body who describes himself as a monster. A client hires him to locate her missing son that she thought died during childbirth. At first, Dismas goes through the motions of an investigation but does not believe there is any chance of suc ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
10 jours que je suis sur ce livre et je n'arrive plus à avancer.
Je m'arrête à 71%, le surnaturel dans un thriller ça ne passe pas. L'histoire était vraiment intéressante au début mais là ca devient n'importe quoi.
M.G. Mason
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
James Tatam
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Adam Wilson
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
"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
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A large book, the first half of which is a slow-burn building a genuinely menacing atmosphere as the Private Investigator starts looking for a long lost child. There is an excellent twist in the plot, which I won't spoil, but my expectation of what was going on in the nursing home turned out to be totally wrong - twice! The central character, Nick Dismas, is a fascinating departure from the usual sort of heroic lead - likewise the love interest. It would be interested to read about more characte ...more
Geert Daelemans
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Jamie Rose
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Shehroze Ameen
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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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 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
More about James Herbert...

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