Spectral Press, out now
When one bizarre death follows another, Bristol police Inspector Jeffrey Longdon realises that there is a horrific connection between them…
John Llewellyn Probert’s tale is both a wonderful updating of the old British horror movies and a great tribute to the work of one of the great actors within those movies, Vincent Price. (That’s not that much of a spoiler – it’s on the back cover of the book!)
Probert creates a great double act in Longdon and his sergeant, (equally a tribute to those films) along with their rather cantankerous pathologist, Richard Patterson, and mingles their investigations with descriptions of the deaths told from the point of view of the targets. As the story progresses, we end up quite a few steps ahead of them, and if you’ve watched Price films, you start to guess which of the many different gruesome ends lies in wait. I was wondering if a poodle was going to appear in tribute to one of my favourite Price films…
There’s a wonderful tongue in cheek air to the whole thing that makes the pages race past, and I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with the murderous Dr Valentine in the just-published sequel.
Verdict: A fun, beautifully over the top tale. 9/10