"James Herbert, who has died aged 69, will be remembered as one of the pillars of British horror writing. Herbert managed the rare feat of straddling both genre and mainstream fiction; at the height of his career, he was often spoken of in the same breath as Stephen King, and sales of his books have run to more than 42 million copies.
"He shot to fame in 1974 with the publication of The Rats, and there can be few people who grew up in the '70s who didn't furtively pass around a dog-eared copy of this and its follow-up, Lair, revelling in Herbert's gory set-pieces and plentiful graphic sex scenes."
Reading The Fog when I was in high school remains one of the highlights of my horror youth; I can still recall the shock and jaw-dropping awe I felt at his over-the-top style and imagination - and I definitely did pass it around to friends. As King himself put it so well in Danse Macabre:
In his novels of horror - The Rats, The Fog, The Survivor, The Spear, The Lair, and The Dark - Herbert does not just write... he puts on his combat boots and goes out to assault the reader with horror.