Four old friends decide to go on a reunion holiday walking in the Swedish wilderness but they realise that they have little left in common and two of them are not as fit as they should be for a trip like this. They decide to take a shortcut through some woods but find a gutted animal hanging from a tree then they end up lost, wet and scared in a strange old building which has ancient religious artefacts in it.
Having read Adam Nevill’s short story “On All London Underground Lines” in the collection The End of the Line I was keen to read a full length novel and The Ritual sounded interesting so I picked myself up a copy.
We are plunged straight into the story and the pacing remains pretty quick throughout. The characters were interesting with Hutch and Luke being the most likeable. My favourite characters were Loki and Fenris though and I had to keep googleing the bands mentioned as I like metal (although mostly they were too shouty / screamy for my taste, I prefer the more melodic, softer stuff).
I really enjoyed the story and found Nevill to be good at building tension and creating atmosphere. I will definitely be reading more of his books in the future and will be getting a copy of Apartment 16 to add to my to read pile!