Do books come any scarier than this? I guess they do. The Exorcist was pretty terrifying. But Ira Levin’s great skill as a story-teller reveals itself here in creating a world that is both unimaginably terrifying and yet familiar to us. Setting the book among middle class, middle aged New Yorkers living on the Upper West Side, rather than some isolated haunted house in the countryside, is part of that. But there are is no violence, no ghosts popping out of closets, no poltergeists, none of that. Just the quiet realisation that Satan is not a mythical creature, but a real presence in the world. That’s enough to keep anyone awake at night. Highly recommended.