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The Ancient

Muriel Gray

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HarperCollins

Published : 2001

Copyright : Muriel Gray 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-649641-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-649641-0

Publisher's Write-Up

Amongst towering mountains of trash in the back streets of Lima, three young boys are trying to raise an ancient demon. That night, a teenage drug runner is gunned down across their makeshift alter. As his killers walk away, the corpse moves. Something is stirring beneath it.

Port Callao. Young American military student Esther Mulholland has just missed her boat home and is forced to hitch a ride on the super tanker MV Lysicrates, along with alcoholic crew member Matthew Cotton and hundreds of tonnes of trash. It's a decision she will soon regret for she is about to embark on a hellish voyage...

'A gothic story of spooky goings-on a sea… Gray has come up trumps again with a book that sends shivers up your spine.'


'Vividly written, strangely compelling… definitely not for the faint-hearted.'

Irish Independent

'Genuinely scary... the injuries and deaths are graphically gory and horrid.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (010702) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
This is Muriel Gray's third novel and follows the same horror theme of the last two (not the same characters or settings... just the horror and the gore!).

The Ancient is a fairly macabre story of an Inca priest who has defeated death and is trying to resurrect himself. To do this he must consecrate his rebirth with the chosen virgin sacrifice and eat her still beating heart while, errr… well, you can guess the rest. Enter Esther, a determined American student trying to get home after researching her thesis in the mountains of Peru.

Esther is no ordinary student however. Her education is being funded by the US army in exchange for seven years service and therefore has a little more 'character' than your average person, not to mention being a trained killer. This coupled with a hard childhood has made her independent and strong.

As things start to go wrong aboard ship she steps in to deal with it in a confident manner. However, when true evil comes-a-hunting in your mind training goes out the window and things become a little more basic.

I personally find Muriel Gray's writing wonderful and the ease with which the story unfolds from page to page is a delight. This latest novel is perhaps a bit more gruesome than her first two, but what the hell, it is a horror story and if you can't cringe from time to time (as well as look over your shoulder occasionally) then it can't be working.
Nigel (1st July 2002)

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