This was the first James Herbert book I turned to when forced to re-examine the role his books played in my youth when I heard the news of the author’s death. (See my post : ‘R.I.P The Death of James Herbert and My Childhood’ 26th March)
I chose this as it was the one out of his early novels that I recalled the least of, and so in a sense it was like reading it for the first time. To further wallow in nostalgia, this cover here is the one that I owned way back when it came out in 1981.
The Jonah is more supernatural than horror, which was regarded as his forte at that point, and it points the way towards the way his later books would go.
The main character Kelso is a man whose whole life has been punctuated by tragedy, which is told at intervals in the form of flashbacks. Sent to a small, sleepy coastal town to investigate suspicions of drug smuggling, he ends up getting in above his head, and finally finds out why he is a ‘jonah’, and the reason behind the many tragic episodes, all in an apocalyptic finale.
Enjoyed it, will re-visit some of the other early Herbert books.