British author James Herbert, 69, whose best-selling spine-tinglers included The Rats and The Fog, died Wednesday at his home in Sussex, in southern England. His publisher did not disclose a cause.
The London-born Mr. Herbert studied graphic design, print, and photography before finding work at an advertising agency.
His first novel, The Rats - which depicted London being overrun by mutant flesh-eating rodents - took 10 months to complete and was published in 1974. It sold 100,000 copies in three weeks and was later turned into a film.
He went on to write 23 novels, selling 54 million copies around the world.