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Alligators

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1987.

Four Animal Rights activists, including an ever-reluctant Susie Lee, roped in again by her boyfriend Maurice Young, the almost lunatic leader of the group - break into their local zoo and free all the alligators in the Reptile House. This turns out to be a pretty bad idea as Susie and Maurice's companions soon get eaten alive by killer Amazonian caimans, who then make a speedy exit into the nearby countryside. Susie takes this as her opportunity to break away, and confesses everything to the local vet, who has been roped in to the 'gator hunt as the nearest local thing to an expert on the creatures. He's having problems with the police and the army who both want to shoot the 'gators once and for all, while he merely wants to tranquillise them and return them to the zoo. He also has problems looking after Susie, while her mad boyfriend is still on the loose tying people up as human sacrifices for the caimans.

If you're a croc freak and you're looking for another Alligator or Killer Croc, you won't find it here; this is more easily categorised with other Guy Smith novels than with its subgenre. But Smith knows his audience inside out, and keeps his readers happy by feeding them novels like this one at an astounding rate. There's nothing here that he hasn't written many times before, but then his readers don't expect it, and probably wouldn't want anything different anyway. This is a good example of much of his 1980s output: a short snappy gore novel that concentrates on the death scenes more than the plot. But hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing: who wants to read mind-taxing epics all the time. If you want to avoid the real world for a couple of hours with a decent book that doesn't require you to exercise your brain, this will do perfectly.


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