Home - The Last Page Bookshop - The Horror Reviews Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map

Blood Island

Novel by James Farber 1982.

When they sent in the bulldozers to rebuild Carrefour (small Caribbean island) into Le Carrefour (luxury holiday resort), the island's new owners, Crossroads International, didn't know quite what they were building on. The dark gods of voodoo certainly weren't too amused. In the hotel built over the demolished community graveyard, seemingly unconnected events become common enough to classify: strange rattling noises, deaths by drowning, odd incidents involving black roosters. This prompts Brian Mahoney, the hotel's new assistant manager (the last one drowned in the pool) to take it upon himself to investigate, especially as the girl he spent the previous night with has turned up dead.

This is a novel based on the 'don't build on sacred burial ground' theme, made famous in the film Poltergeist and used often in horror novels, including Guy N Smith's Doomflight, released a year earlier by the same publishers, Hamlyn Books, which handles the theme in a strikingly similar way. But where Doomflight deals with an airport, Blood Island uses a holiday resort, which prompts a comparison with Laurence James' excellent Paradise Lost, especially as both have neat downbeat endings. Paradise Lost is certainly a more fun read, but, however stylishly done, is at heart a simple slasher story. Blood Island offers less in the way of style, but more in the way of depth of plot: no immediate knowledge of 'who or what did it' here. Farber's characterisation is also good, except in the amount of character history in flashback sequences that we are deluged with at one point early on, which clutters the narrative somewhat. A solid read which has its moments, but nothing out of the ordinary.


Home - The Last Page Bookshop - The Horror Reviews Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map