Secret Story

Ramsey Campbell

Tor Books

You’re an underpaid civil servant who dreams of chucking it all to become a famous author. You live with your overbearing mother who always seems to interrupt when you’re writing a key scene. Who always wants to know why you haven’t brought home a nice girl.
What you really are is a writer. A brilliant one, too, though like any writer, you sometimes have a dry spell. Your imagination is dark, your inspiration the terrible things that can happen to a young woman traveling alone . . . .
Suddenly, success! You win a magazine contest—first prize is publication for your terrifying short story about a horrible murder on an underground train. A director wants to make a movie of your award-winning story and wants your input on the script. A pretty young journalist seems to be taking a personal interest in you and your career.
The family of a girl murdered on the underground threatens to sue you and the magazine for glorifying the grisly details of their daughter’s death, despite your insistence that you didn’t read the news coverage of the murder. The magazine asks you to supply a different story.
The film director wants you to make a few changes in your story. Especially with the lawsuit hanging over everyone’s head.
The journalist’s interest turns out to merely be professional.
You’ve been fired.
And, worst of all, your imagination has run dry. You don’t have another story in you.
You’ll just have to kill someone new . . .

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
            "Dudley, there's something I haven't been telling you," she said, and at once he was terrified that she knew.
Chapter Two
            Her first mistake was thinking he was mad.
As the train left the station he started to talk in a low passionate voice. They were alone in the carriage farthest from the driver, except for two beer bottles rolling about in their own stains and bumping together as if they were trying to mate on the unswept


Praise for Secret Story

"A gripping horror extravaganza. A richly textured tale of modern horror with classic roots, it confirms Campbell's reputation as one of the most formidable dark fantasists working today."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Darkest Part of the Woods

"For more than forty years, Ramsey Campbell has been one of the premier horror writers of the English-speaking world. His latest novel is a creepy, sometimes blackly funny account of a haunted bookshop, and it shows Campbell at the top of his considerable form."--The Washington Post Book World on The Overnight

"[A] horror tour de force. His rich and evocative prose serves to wrap scenes in a dense miasma of disturbing images and shadowy shapes. A high water mark of horror."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Overnight

"A sense of impending doom lingers around the edges of this story, and as the incidents escalate, it becomes more palpable. Psychologically intense, this well-crafted horror tale isn't for the faint of heart."--Romantic Times BookClub Magazine on The Overnight

"Campbell draws the reader into the story slowly, accumulating a wealth of detail and family dynamics. One of the most unsettling voices in horror literature, back in fine, eerie form with The Darkest Part of the Woods."--Fangoria

"Pure dark magic."--Cemetery Dance on The Darkest Part of the Woods

"Campbell's masterpiece. Magically fresh and memorable."--Kirkus Reviews on The Darkest Part of the Woods

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ramsey Campbell

  • Ramsey Campbell is one of the world's most renowned and honored horror writers. He has won more British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards than he has fingers, plus three Bram Stoker Awards. Campbell is the author of such classic works of horror and dark fantasy as Obsession, The Face That Must Die, The Nameless, Incarnate, and The Influence, and more recently novels, The Overnight, and The Darkest Part of the Woods. His short fiction has been collected in several volumes including Alone With the Horrors and Scared Stiff. Campbell lives with his wife, Jenny, in Merseyside in England.

  • Ramsey Campbell J.K. Potter


Available Formats and Book Details

Secret Story

Ramsey Campbell

  • e-Book



Tor Books