BBC News Best-selling author James Herbert who wrote the horror classic The Rats, has died aged 69. His publisher, Pan Macmillan, confirmed that he died at his home in Sussex this morning. No cause of death was given. Jeremy Trevathan, his editor for 10 years, described him as "one of the keystone authors in a genre that had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s". He is survived by his wife, Eileen, whom he married in 1967, and their three daughters Kerry, Emma and Casey. Herbert's first novel, The Rats, depicted London overrun by mutant flesh-eating rodents and sold 100,000 copies within two weeks of being published in 1974. Since then, he has published 23 novels in more than 30 languages, selling 54 million copies worldwide. His latest book, Ash, was published last week. I'm sorry to see this. I was kind of hit and miss with some of his stuff but I enjoyed The Rats. I think I still have it in a bookcase somewhere. R. I. P.