Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £18.99

Buy Now for £18.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Editor reviews

British horror maven James Herbert reprises his psychic investigator David Ash, a man continually haunted by the ghosts of his past - literally. Ash senses evil in the rural English hamlet of Sleath, and before long he joins the local villagers as a plaything in the hands of sinister and mysterious specters. In the lofty strains of performer Steven Pacey (Blake’s 7, M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team), The Ghosts of Sleath is accorded a voice that is pastoral, brimming with the stuffy and proud traditions of provincial England, but at the same time eerie, menacing and chillingly convincing in its portrayal of a town burdened by the centuries-old ghosts of its gruesome past.

Summary

Menace awaits. Sleath. Quiet, peaceful. A small village hidden away in the Chiltern Hills, almost forgotten by the modern world. Nothing much seems to happen here; little disturbs the centuries-old tranquillity. Until the ghosts begin to appear and frighteningly bizarre events start to occur.

Psychic investigator David Ash, a man burdened by the dark secret of his own past, is sent to Sleath to investigate the phenomena and his discoveries there drive him to the very edge of his own sanity. The incidents grow worse until, in the final night of horror, awesome and malign forces are unleashed in a supernatural storm that threatens to consume the village itself. For Sleath is not what it seems. And the dead have returned for a reason.

James Herbert was one of Britain’s greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages. Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975.

His first novel, The Rats, was an instant bestseller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.

©1994 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down." (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Ghosts of Sleath

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    337
  • 4 Stars
    157
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    367
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    301
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is the stuff of freaking nightmares!!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Ghosts of Sleath to be better than the print version?

Having read the printed version before listening to the audible version (albeit quite a while ago), I can honestly say that the audio version is much much more effective at delivering a truly chilling experience!!

What did you like best about this story?

Thrilling plot with unexpected thrills and chills. James Herbert is truly a master of the macabre. I felt like I knew the main character Ash, so well that he was almost like family by the end (and not only because this is not the first book he's starred in!) And I really cared about what happened to him.

What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

The accent!! Being a 'cockney' meself, incorrect pronunciations and fake accents can really distract and even ruin a story for me.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Life in a quiet village . . . where all of your worst nightmares come true!!

Any additional comments?

Excellent storytelling! Make sure you've got a spare pair of underwear!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Scarey

Scared myself to death with this one. Do not listen alone. James your a fiend.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

love it short but sweet I'm going to read it again well read and very enjoyable

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling Story

Would you listen to The Ghosts of Sleath again? Why?

Yes and I have

What did you like best about this story?

The way the story draws you in straight away and builds to the chilling climax

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When Ash walks past the old school and hears the children singing!!!!!!!!!

Any additional comments?

This is a super story and builds your understanding of Ash for the final saga "ASH"

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious and Dull

Horror is one of my favourite genres which made the disappointment of this book all the worse. This book initially shows some promise, but it fails to gain traction as it skips between one dimensional characters you don't care about. The real horror in this work is James Herbert's use over description which is truly tortuous.

This book also contains the most comedic example of erotic fiction I've ever encountered. I felt sorry for narrator Steven Pacey for having the unenviable task of breathing life into that part.

I thought Nobody True was a great piece of work but this doesn't come close to matching it. My only advice is to avoid this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

The second book of the Ash series, as with all James Herbert books, very gripping and drawing me in with the characters, with their personalities, I couldn't wait to resume listening when having to leave it, the book was well read with plenty of drama in the voice.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not a classic by any means

The second in the trilogy and for me, another disappointment. A reasonable storyline fleshed out and diverting at tangents. I just wanted the story to conclude rather than looking forward to the next installment.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another brilliant book by James Herbert

Another great addition to my collection, this one follows David Ash from "Haunted" but can stand alone as a complete story on its own.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good book

Good story and very narrated. A typical James Herbert book with plenty of plot twists and turns.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Average Herbert

The second of the 'Ash' trilogy. The story kept me interested, the narrative generates a feeling of cold isolation. There are some really gripping parts to the story that make this the best book of the three.

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Hoover
  • Mark Hoover
  • 13-04-17

Good book not my style

Great performance
I just struggled with the violence
I guess I want softer mysteries
Well done though

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Avid Listener and Reader
  • Avid Listener and Reader
  • 20-09-16

Slow Starter

The beginning is so slow I almost have up on the book, but I'm glad I didn't. A found this to be a fascinatingly, gruesome novel and will be reading and listening more of this author.