Horror icon and best-selling novelist James Herbert has died at the age of 69. The man who brought the world such chilling books as The Rats trilogy, Fluke and The Survivor saw several of his works adapted for radio and screens both big and small, and sold more than 54 million copies around the world.
The writer became known for big ideas and creepy visions of a world where mankind was at risk from all sorts of nightmares. His work was first adapted for the screen in 1981 with The Survivor, while The Rats reached cinemas in 1982 as Deadly Eyes, which was loosely based on the first book. Fluke and Haunted films would follow, and The Secret Of Crickley Hall was turned into a miniseries by the Beeb last December.
"Jim Herbert was one of the keystone authors in a genre that had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s,” said Herbert’s long-time editor and publisher Jeremy Trevathan in a statement. “It's a true testament to his writing and his enduring creativity that his books continued to be huge bestsellers right up until his death. He has the rare distinction that his novels were considered classics of the genre within his lifetime. His death marks the passing of one of the giants of popular fiction in the 20th century."
Gareth Marenghi co-creator and star Matthew Holness, tweeted, “You were an inspiration, a hero, the King of the Paperbacks. Thank you and farewell, traveller.” We imagine Garth and Dean Lerner are toasting Herbert’s memory with good scotch even now.
Herbert, who was awarded an OBE in 2010, is survived by his wife Eileen and three daughters.