The Ruins

The Ruins by Scott Smith, hailed by the maestro Stephen King as the best horror novel of the century is engrossing and macabre and creepy. I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Two couples on holiday in Cancun, Mexico. A chance encounter with a few Greeks and a German and the appearance of mysterious map leads them to ';the ruins'. The foursome and some of their new found friends find themselves held hostage by seemingly hostile Mayans brandishing weapons.

The couples soon discover that their worst problems are not from the Mayans and find themselves 'entwined' in an unbelievable nightmare.

I loved Smith's narrative as he first presents the reader with a faint picture of the couples vacationing in Mexico and their surroundings and gradually builds the plot. Then as the plot evolves, so does the growing terror sucking in the reader into the story like a magical spell.

There are flashbacks to past happenings of the individuals, reminiscent of ABC's 'Lost', the mounting tension and the inevitable breakdown of spirit of the victims(reminiscent of the 'Blair Witch Project' ) and the expected end. I honestly felt Smith could have downplayed some descriptions of bodily functions, if not the gore that is taken to extremes in some places.

Nevertheless, Smith's lucid narrative makes this an enjoyable read

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