Blog Tour: Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

Book Review: Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

Horror: Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

Blog Tour February 8, 2023


I had a basic concept of this book going into it. A film historian finds a long lost copy of a 50-year old movie starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. He then dies fleeing someone or something terrifying. The film, along with all of his notes, is destroyed. 


His friend Sandy Allan is determined to prove to skeptics that he did indeed find the film. She embarks on a journey through England and into the past, learning more about the film, the curious fates of survivors, and the titled family at the center of the controversial film.


So far, so straightforward. However, this is Ramsey Campbell. If he has written a straightforward novel, I have not yet read it.


Campbell raises the tension slowly throughout the novel, drip by drip by drip. Sandy’s own notes on the film are destroyed when her cats are spooked out of her apartment. Shadows gain substance then become shadows again. Strange sounds and odors follow her around. People she seeks to interview die just before or just after she speaks with them, often in mysterious circumstances. What starts out with the feel of a mystery creeps closer and closer to the macabre until Bruce Willis discovers that he was dead all the way through the movie.


Wait. Different movie. I don’t want to give spoilers for the book, though, so just pretend that the Bruce Willis thing is covering over the actual stuff that I shouldn’t reveal.


Sandy Allan is a lot braver than I. There were a number of times throughout the novel when I wanted to shout at her, “Look behind you.” Oftentimes, she did look behind her, only to see…nothing. Yet that nothing becomes something that turns to nothing far too often. It does not take long before that nothing that is something masquerading as nothing begins to scare the socks off you, then you find yourself writing the review in your bare feet.


Our thanks to Anne Cater and NetGalley for our copy of Ancient Images, given so we could participate in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour.

Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

Book Review: Ancient Images, Ramsey Campbell

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