Far be it from me (as a newbie) to leap in and defend Ramsey for-God's-sake Campbell, but at risk of sounding like an arse-creeper: I thought this one was a definite return to form. Shadowy, subtle, pacy, vivid.
(Couldn't finish "Grin of The Dark" - an interesting experiment that doesn't quite come off, especially writing in the present tense like, uh, what I'm doing now....)
On a vaguely-related note, why's it so damn hard to get affordable editions of anything since "Thieving Fear"...?
Ah, yes - thanks, guys. Trouble is, you don't see em in the shops anymore. (Which is why PS Publishing had, stupidly of me, slipped my mind.)
It's all romantic chaste vampire drips and sodding wall-to-wall zombies in Waterstones... I remember when it were all fields, full of Lovecraft and *really dodgy* paperbacks... W H Smiths... Guy N Smith... etc. Ah well. Perhaps the tide'll turn again; it often does, eventually.
(Hope that made sense - am a bit hungover.) Anyway, thread derailment over. As you were, chaps.
Even so, it would be better for everyone if PS could strike up a deal with a major to publish mass-market paperback editions of their titles. Something i've learned through Vault is there are a significant minority of fans - please note, spammers - don't have credit cards, so the on-line delights of Am*z*n are denied them (P.S. pre-sale prices likewise). I know next to nothing about the industry so perhaps this is very naive of me, but if 'horror' is going to elbow Twilight & Co. from the shelves of the few remaining High Street book-stores, it needs to start selling in King/ Herbert/ GNS/ Barker/ Hutson & Co. proportions again, and it's not going to do that via specialist publishers or the small press.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
The best thing about Thieving Fear was the hallucination of the monster. Other than that it just seemed to be about people becoming confused.
I thought the reveal of the discrepancy between how one character saw herself and how she was perceived by others (i.e. reality) was brilliantly handled. The final descent into the buried house was exceptionally creepy. I see what you mean about the constant confusion, though. The never-ending stream of puns and misunderstandings that made up the dialogue grew a little tiring.