Apartment 16 by Adam Nevil
Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill is a horror novel.
When her estranged Aunt Lillian dies and leaves her estate to Apryl and her mother, Apryl flies to London and finds that the up-scale Barrington House apartment complex leaves a little to be desired. Apparently her aunt had been living in squalor in this fancy apartment building after the death of her husband. Her mental collapse must have occurred shortly thereafter. There are no paintings or mirrors in any of the rooms, but newspapers abound. The porter admitted that her aunt had become somewhat of a recluse, and had some “issues”. But Apryl is mesmerized by the building, the apartment, and particularly her aunt’s journals where she describes the artist, Felix Hessen, as the reason for her husband’s death, and for all the problems in the building. Apryl is determined to discover more about the artist who lived in Apartment 16, and about her aunt, and the building itself.
Meanwhile, the night watchman, who was hired because he was an artist, is having his own problems with Apartment 16. The noises emanating from behind the locked door are drawing Seth closer, and a small boy in a hoodie seems to be leading him in both his daydreams and nightmares. The only bright side is that Seth has finally been inspired to sketch and paint.
This is a really dark book. Okay, it is a horror book, about a haunted apartment, supernatural visions flying all over the place, so dark is to be expected, but…..there was no light at all. I really struggled with this book initially (the first half). It was a little confusing, and drawn out. I didn’t mind the gore so much, as the repetitiveness of the descriptions. However, once I got through the first half, I started to look forward to how Apryl was going to get herself out of this situation. Yeah, right.
There wasn’t actually anything wrong with the writing (except as noted above). I think it was more the fact that there have been a lot of haunted house stories, and this one didn’t really bring anything new to the table. The action didn’t seem to be there, or it didn’t surprise you. It was creepy overall, but it missed the true scare factor. For me, anyway. That being said, I think the author may have a lot more in him.
Favorite Quote from Apartment 16:
“Hell was a living place inside every membrane of flesh that temporarily passed itself off as human.”
Read: December 2016
About the Author: Adam L. G. Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. In his working life he has endured a variety of occupations, including from 2000 to 2004 both nightwatchman and day porter in the exclusive apartment buildings of west London.