Tor, Oct 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
American professor Dr. Lennox Price moves his family to Goodmanswood, England to study the dark legends surrounding the area especially the delusions of the nearby residents. However, instead of debunking the myths, Lennox goes crazy. Thus he is committed, but quickly develops a cult following among the asylum's crazier folks.
His daughter archivist Heather follows up on her father's enigmatic beliefs about Goodmanswood that links them to the alchemist Nathaniel Selcouth, who resided there. Heather digs into the works of Nathaniel, who apparently was trying to fashion a messenger who would serve as his servant in seeking the outer limits of the spiritual and physical universe. Meanwhile, children insist a grotesque "sticky man" resides in the woods. Heather wonders if he exists and if he does is he the evil behind all the malevolence destroying the Price family?
THE DARKEST PART OF THE WOODS is a classic horror tale that works because of the set up by Ramsey Campbell is at its best here. The Price family are intelligent nice people who are being overwhelmed by a sinister darkness that grows ever menacing with each new page. The story line is taut as readers will feel the creepiness of the woods that transforms into something immoral and dangerous.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner