The Way of the Worm by Ramsey Campbell
Paperback – Flame Tree – Mar 2022 – 277 pages
The present day, or something very like it. Dominic Sheldrake has retired from lecturing and lives on his own. His son Toby is married with a small daughter. The occultist Noble family are more active than ever. Their cult now openly operates as the Church of the Eternal Three, and has spread worldwide. The local branch occupies the top floors of Starview Tower, a Liverpool waterfront skyscraper. To Dominic’s dismay, Toby and his wife Claudine are deeply involved in it, and he suspects they are involving their small daughter Macy too.
Dominic lets his son persuade him to attend a meeting of the church, where he encounters all three generations of the Nobles. Although Christian Noble is almost a century old, he’s more vigorous than ever – inhumanly so. The family takes turns to preach an apocalyptic sermon that hints at dark secrets masked by the Bible and at the future that lies in wait. In a bid to investigate further Dominic undergoes the rite the church offers its members, which confers the ability to travel psychically through time. Before he’s able to flee back to the present he has a vision of the monstrous fate that’s in store for the world.
Dominic discovers a secret he’s sure the Nobles won’t want to be made public. Although he has retired from the police, Jim helps him establish the truth, and Roberta publishes it on her online blog. It’s the subject of a court case, the results of which seem to defeat the Nobles, only for them to return in a dreadfully transformed shape. Now Dominic and his friends are at their mercy, and is there anywhere in the world to hide? Even if they manage somehow to deal with the Nobles, there may be no escaping or preventing the alien apocalypse that all the events of the trilogy have been bringing ever closer…