James Herbert dies aged 69

Horror author James Herbert, whose novels have sold 54 million copies worldwide, has died aged 69. Herbert, who wrote 'The Rats' and 23 other novels, passed away peacefully in bed at his home in Sussex this morning.

Tributes stream in for James Herbert

Friends, authors and other high-profile figures have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to James Herbert, who died today aged 69.

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James Herbert has left the building. He wrote pleasingly horrifying novels like The Fog, which made me reeeeal uncomfortable.

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The Fog has dispersed, the lights in the Magic Cottage have dimmed, Crickley Hall stands silent. RIP #JamesHerbert

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Received some sad news this morning that my good friend James Herbert has passed away.Am in no mood for music,that's for sure.RIP Jim.

James Herbert - a prolific career in horror writing

Herbert's first three books. Credit: Pan Macmillan

James Herbert died today aged 69 after a successful career that spanned four decades.

His first two books, 'The Rats' and 'The Fog', are amongst his most famous.

The first 100,000 copies of ‘The Rats’, his first novel, sold out in three weeks.

'The Fog', published a year later in 1975 and telling the tale of a deadly fog that drives its victims insane, is also considered a horror classic.

To complete a prolific start to his career, 'The Survivor' - the story of an airline crash - was published in 1976.

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James Herbert's tales reached film and television

James Herbert, the best-selling horror author who died today, tasted success over four decades.

Career highlights:

  • Four of his books – ‘The Rats’, ‘The Survivor’, ‘Fluke and Haunted’ - were made into films
  • 'The Secret Of Crickley Hall’ was adapted for television and ‘The Magic Cottage’ was dramatised for Radio 4
  • His 23rd novel, Ash, was published last week
  • The first 100,000 copies of ‘The Rats’, his first novel, sold out in three weeks

Horror author James Herbert passes away aged 69

James Herbert
James Herbert was named OBE in 2010. Credit: William Conran/PA Wire

Horror author James Herbert, whose novels have sold 54 million copies worldwide, has died aged 69.

Herbert, who wrote 'The Rats' and 23 other novels, passed away peacefully in bed at his home in Sussex this morning, his publisher Pan Macmillan said.

Jeremy Trevathan, his editor for 10 years, described him as "one of the giants of popular fiction in the 20th century".