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13 Days to Sunset Beach [hardcover] by Ramsey Campbell

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​​​​​​A NOVEL by Ramsey Campbell
PUBLICATION DATE  September 2014
COVER & ENDPAPER ART Tomislav Tikulin
EDITION Unsigned


It's Ray's and Sandra's first family holiday in Greece, on the newly developed island of Vasilema. The family weren't to know that the skies are cloudier above the island than anywhere else in Greece, and they're mostly intrigued by the local eccentricities and customs--the lack of mirrors, the outsize beach umbrellas, the saint's day celebrated with an odd nocturnal ritual. Only why are there islanders who seem to follow the family wherever they go? Why do Sandra and the teenage grandchildren have strangely similar dreams? "I was in this huge place with no light and I didn't want to see. Something sounded... huge." And has Sandra been granted a wish she didn't even know she made? The youngest member of the family isn't taken seriously when he tells tales of the night: "I saw someone in our room. Then he went in the window, and he sank like the window was water, and then he wasn't there any more..." Their tours take them to an abandoned monastery where something that might have been human still lives, a holiday resort that is unnaturally deserted during the day, a cave where more than one gruesome discovery lies in wait. Ray buys a book from a vendor that suggests the nature of the island's secret, but soon the book is stolen, and whatever stole it turns on him: "He saw that the figure had turned to gaze at him. In a moment it shied the remains of the book into the sea and crouched towards him. He couldn't have said why he was grateful not to be able to make out its face. Its posture put him in mind of a runner at the start of a race, an idea that was all too appropriate. Before he could take a breath the figure came for him. It moved as fast as any animal, practically flying across the soft sand..." Before their holiday is over, some of the family may learn more than they can bear about the secret that keeps the island alive...