British Fantasy Society: Best Novel winner (1988).
"You needn't die unless you choose to..."
For the Faraday family these words hold the key to a nightmare that starts one bleak September evening in Liverpool.
When the family matriarch, Queenie, dies, she is buried wearing a locket containing her eight-year-old granddaughter Rowan's hair. Soon afterwards, Rowan makes a new friend, the curiously old-fashioned Vicky, under whose influence Rowan starts to turn against her own family, becoming cold, haughty and withdrawn.
Only her mother, Alison, suspects the horrifying truth – that Queenie has fulfilled her evil prophecy and returned to live in Rowan's body. But will anyone believe her? And if they do, how can they break the evil "influence" that holds Rowan's body and soul in the balance?
John Ramsey Campbell (born 1946) is a British horror writer.
Since Ramsey Campbell first came to prominence in the mid-1960s, critics have cited Campbell as one of the leading writers in his field: T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today", while S. T. Joshi stated, "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."