I first stumbled upon one of Phil Rickman’s books a couple of years ago, and from then on was completely hooked and have feverishly worked my way throughout his back catalogue.
So, I was delighted to hear that he had resurrected some characters from previous novels The Cold Calling and Mean Spirit (both written under the pen name Will Kingdom) for this book.
The setting for Night After Night is clever, seven celebrities will enter a haunted house and be filmed continuously for the week, after a couple of days, a celebrity is evicted each night until only one remains.
Not so much Big Brother as Big Other in this case.
Because these celebrities are known for their diverse views on spirits and spiritualism. They have been carefully hand-picked by TV producer Leo Defford and his team to make sure that there are plenty of clashes on screen and off.
Defford hires Gayle Underhill as a researcher to look into the history of Knap Hall, the spooky setting for Big Other.
The Tudor farmhouse has a lurid history, and the more Gayle finds out about the place, the more uneasy she gets about what will happen there, once the broadcasting begins.
One of the celebrities placed in the house, is Cindy Mars-Lewis, a cross-dressing Celtic shaman, one of my favourite characters from the Will Kingdom books previously mentioned.
Despite the eccentricities of the character, Cindy is actually the voice of reason in the house, once the horror actually kicks off.
This book would make a wonderful film or three part TV series and I would love to see who they would get to play the Mars-Lewis character, though in the book Cindy thinks George Clooney should play him in his first sexually ambiguous role!
But, I think Rhys Ifans would be great as Cindy though he might be a bit young, as he’s described as being anything from his fifties to his seventies. But Mr Ifans is a great character actor and could play Cindy to a tee in my mind.
The problem with Phil Rickman’s books is that you can’t put them down, once you start, I finished this one in two nights, so I now have to wait for the new Merrily Watkins novel he’s working on, which comes out next year.
I can’t recommend Night After Night enough, a truly enjoyable, thought provoking, thriller of a ride.
Night After Night is published by Corvus books, for more on Phil Rickman, visit his website: http://www.philrickman.co.uk/