Book Review | The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell

Title: The Searching Dead

Author: Ramsey Campbell

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

Release Date: 16th February 2021

Source: NetGalley

“An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that” - Guillermo del Toro

1952. On a school trip to France teenager Dominic Sheldrake begins to suspect his teacher Christian Noble has reasons to be there as secret as they're strange. 

Meanwhile a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts you in touch with your dead relatives, who prove much harder to get rid of. As Dominic and his friends Roberta and Jim investigate, they can’t suspect how much larger and more terrible the link between these mysteries will become. 

A monstrous discovery beneath a church only hints at terrors that are poised to engulf the world as the trilogy brings us to the present day

Imagine if The Famous Five inhabited the world of Stranger Things but that world was 1952 Liverpool.  Are you curious?  

Dominic lives a quiet life with his parents in a Liverpool that is still recovering from the ravages of WWII.  He has two close friends Bobby (Roberta) and Jim, the three of them form the Tremendous Three.  Dominic and Jim start a new school, one that is very religious and comes with a very odd teacher in the shape of Mr Noble.

Christian Noble is an odd chap, intense and very creepy.  On a school trip to France, Dominic witnesses strange nighttime behaviour of his teacher and starts keeping an eye his teacher and his weird ways.

Meanwhile, one of Dominic’s neighbours Mrs Norris is acting oddly, she has started attending a local spiritual church, something that is much frowned upon by Dominic’s parents.  Mrs Norris has lost her husband and this church is going to put her in touch with him.  According to Mrs Norris, her deceased husband has started talking to her but as her behaviour grows increasingly weird. Dominic worries for her.

They discover that Mr Noble also attends the same church as Mrs Norris.  From that moment on the Tremendous Three watch his every movement hoping they will be led to this strange church.  Is the strange behaviour of Mr Noble linked to Mrs Norris?  

This is a slow burn read, you do need to stick with it but the chilling atmosphere combined with the curiosity and detective work of the kids makes this such a rewarding read.  It is book one in a trilogy, so I’m curious to see where this goes next.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 


  1. I'm not familiar with this, but it sounds super weird and creepy. Definitely my kind of book😁

  2. So creepy! Why on earth do people want to talk to the dead?


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