Nailed by the Heart Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot consists of a family who have invested everything they have, monetarily and emotionally, into an island sea fort off the coast of England. The sea fort it turns out, has a long history of mythical beliefs and the town that surrounds it is attracting people with addictions...deep, dark addictions. The family gets bits and pieces of the truth from the townsfolk.
A race of people called the Saf Dar are mythological warriors, they have aided in toppling some of the most famous governments throughout the ages. They disappeared awhile ago...only to be resurrected off the coast of this sea fort. They stand and stare from the ocean at the sea fort and its inhabitants.
Clark maintains the level of suspense by putting believable characters in situations that are interesting and vivid. The hints of what the Saf Dar are and how they can, or can't, be killed are slow in coming but pacing is not Clark's strong point here. He thrives on scenes and this novel is more about action than pace.
This is not Clark's best novel, that would be KING BLOOD, but this is a good introduction to American readers. Be patient with Leisure Books and pick up this one, then wait until they release the next Simon Clark book...you will not be let down.
His tight, well-crafted plot is fueled by terrific characters with which the reader can sympathize.
The plot revolves around an ancient curse that hangs over the English seacoast village of Out-Butterwick. The locals speak of an ancient god who periodically demands a sacrifice from the townsfolk in order to leave them and their village intact.
When the villagers become concerned that the Stainforth family coming into the community to repair and revive an old coastal "hotel" will anger the god with their plan, the plot really takes off. Soon, strange zombie-like creatures are spotted in the surf along the seafort and the family and villages must band together against the assault that ensues.
Without giving away too much plot let me just say that the rest of the novel deals with the townfolk's attempt to survive the onslaught. The Stainforth family is presented with the ultimate sacrifice with their lives and those of the villagers hanging in the balance.
Fans of Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and Robert McCammon will certainly find a new star in Simon Clark. His novels are becoming more prolific here in the US, so enjoy!
I enjoyed this one. Clark is very good at evoking a strong sense of atmosphere in his tales and at describing images that are frightening on an almost primal level. He brings to life the coastal fort and the creatures that pop up out of the water and fog to threaten it. I give the book 4 instead of 5 stars because it reads a little choppily in parts, as if it were perhaps edited badly, and because the underlyting theme of sacrifice comes across as a bit forced in places. It is still quite a creepy book.
Simon Clark's novel was an absolute treat to read! He takes his time with the main characters and presents us with very honest, three-dimensional people. Chris, Ruth and David are people everyone already knows. I found that to be a wonderful touch.
The supporting cast living in the sea-side town of Out-Butterwick are a fascinating collection of characters. Each with their own unique twist.
Without giving away any spoilers, I thoroughly enjoyed Clark's weaving of the different story lines in the early chapters. This laid down a very firm foundation as the rest of the story evolved. Everything layered nicely!
If this is Clark's first published work in America, I most certainly want to read more!
(My only ever-so teeny-tiny issue deals with our main characters and the townspeople within the sea-fort. Didn't these people ever hear of a cell-phone! )
In comparison to some of the other horror titles that I have recently read and reviewed, it stands head and shoulders above quite a number of them. I recommend this novel highly.
Let's hit the beach! But not the one on Out-Butterwick. At least, not right now.
Most recent customer reviews
Nailed by the Heart, Simon Clark's debut novel, is a gripping, visceral story of ancient evil and supernatural powers, which I found occasionally reminiscent of John Carpenter's... Read morePublished on March 21 2007 by A. J. Cull
I've read Simon Clark before (Darker, Blood Crazy). This book is better than Blood Crazy, but not as well thought out as Darker. Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by William M Miller
okay. writing style: good. and the descriptions here is really great. the plot: a family settles down on a place that used to be a sacred site in heathen times. Read morePublished on April 25 2003 by jan erik storebø
excellent horror writers. Clark is the latest in a long line of brilliant english horror writers. James Herbert, Clive Barker, and now Mr Clark has made it to the US of A. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2002 by Darren Jacks
So far, I've read three of Simon Clark's other books and enjoyed them immensely. "Nailed by the Heart" is the most recent of his books and one of the most frightening. Read morePublished on June 7 2002 by FloozyFlapper1926
i have never read horror fiction beforehand except Dracula.i got this and read and found readable.if you say i dont give money for a writer i didnt know,borrow it from library. Read morePublished on May 4 2001 by fatih
Simon Clark who? I'd never heard of him but I'm glad I picked this one.
A hard-hitting horror debut that kept me up half the night turning the pages. Read more
When I picked this book up I couldn't wait to read it. I should have waited. I think this was the WORST book I've ever read. Read morePublished on July 27 2000 by BRIAN LAUCK
The title caught my attention. The plot rather intrigued me. However, Simon Clark's debut left me numb and nauseous. Not from the horror. Read morePublished on July 18 2000