I think James Herbert's The Survivor was the first horror novel I read, and - if memory serves - it stood up as a pretty good supernatural thriller when I re-read it a few years on.
When I was a teenager in the late Seventies it was de rigeur to read Herbert's books, perhaps because - as a former teacher - he was very attuned to the sort of stuff kids go for. That's not to say he wasn't a good writer for adults; the sales of those early novels speak for themselves. And, for my money, he was a much better writer than most horror authors of that era, especially when it came to plot construction and fleshing out an array of characters.
Farewell, Mr Herbert, you entertained a lot of people.