Book Review: Creed By James Herbert

Book Review: Creed by James HerbertThe Central Character in Creed is a freelance photographer called Joseph Creed. He is good at his job and has a knack of snapping the unsnappable, a skill which is helped by the fact that he is almost totally without morals. Creed carries this trait into his private life as well and he is; it has to be said, a bit of a sleaze. He is quite the ladies man, even though he can be very much a scruff at times. He does looks a little like Mickey Rourke though, so perhaps that helps.

In the first chapter of the book the invisible narrator gives the reader a low-down on Creed and has, I thought, a very pleasing voice, telling the tale in an amusing and very entertaining way. The invisible narrator keeps popping up throughout the course of the book to help move the story along and explain a few things.

After having gained an insight into Creed in the first chapter, the reader meets him for the first time in chapter two. Just to make it a memorable first encounter, he is standing in the corner of a tomb and taking a leak. What a guy! He has been waiting inside the tomb for hours and it is a tomb with a view. The view that this particular tomb offers includes an open grave. The designated occupant of the grave, when she arrives, will be an actress called Lily Neverless. A bitch, on screen and off, Lilly’s has been a successful career. Creed expects to see a lot of famous faces attendant at the burial—hence his interest—and wouldn’t it be great if he could snap a few smiles on those faces when the old bird goes down for the last time?

The wait is worth while. Creed gets what he wanted and after the mourners (for want of a better word) have left the graveside, the men with the shovels come and heap the dirt on the actress. When they have finished and gone Creed starts to collect his things in readiness for his own departure. As he is busy doing this he notices someone lurking in the shadows of a tree. Creed decides to hang on a little longer and see what develops. When the mystery lurker leaves the shadows, and walks over to the grave, Creed takes a look at him through his camera’s viewfinder. The guy is either very old, or has had a particularly hard paper round as a kid. Creed doesn’t recognize him as being anyone famous, but what the heck? He might as well snap a few shots anyway just to use up his film.

The guy circles the grave a few times and then, when he has his back to Creed, he starts to shake. At first Creed thinks that the old lad is crying, but then he hears laughter and realizes he is wrong. Then the guy drops to his knees and starts scraping at the newly filled grave, before fumbling with his clothes. He appears to be taking a leak. But things are not as they appear; this guy could abuse himself for Britain. Using both hands, the old wanker is going for gold and praying—or chanting—all the while. Creed snaps off a few shots and notices that the earth seems to be moving for the guy—quite literally—the ground is rippling!

All of this seems pretty strange to Creed, but things are destined to get a whole lot stranger. The guy with the unusual way of paying his last respects is aware that Creed has captured his little show on film. And he wants the film. Creed senses a story though and doesn’t want to part with the film. From that point on his life is turned upside down.

I enjoyed reading Creed. There are some very interesting characters in the book and Creed manages to get himself into some very unusual scrapes. He gets chased by vampires and nearly bitten by a toilet—not to mention getting a knock on the noodle, courtesy of a fellow paparazzi—Creed has it coming from all angles.

From what I have written here I think you will be able to tell that some very weird stuff happens to Joseph Creed, but the story is so well written that I personally found it easy to suspend disbelief. It’s an entertaining read.

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