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

The Blood Merchants

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1982.

Second in the Sabat series of novels, begun by The Graveyard Vultures (1982).

Mark Sabat is called in to investigate a spate of murders of London prostitutes: but less Jack the Ripper and more Dracula, as each victim died through loss of blood from the neck. Sabat soon connects the deaths to a Combat-18 type neo-Nazi group calling themselves the Liberation Front. This would seem not to require Sabat's specialised talents, but when he connects this group to the Disciples of Lilith, and discovers that Lilith herself is manifesting herself into the body of an old acquaintance, he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the ensuing chaos, eventually leading him to Paris and another black magic reincarnation.

A couple of brutal murders can't be the worst thing to start a horror novel with, and Guy Smith quickly grabs our attention once again. Better than its predecessor, this takes the ideas of The Graveyard Vultures a little further. Sabat's obsession with sex takes him into plenty of S&M sessions, the bondage emphasis on control fitting the plot wonderfully. Also, his character's paradoxes continue: we know he's an ex-priest who enjoys killing, and an ex-SAS man who obeys only his own laws, now we find that he occasionally uses cannabis in his pipe while decrying the Nazi thugs for being high on grass. One note: the 'vampire' syringe guns are a similar concept to that used later in The Knighton Vampires; unusually for a pulp horror novelist, Smith hasn't yet written about traditional vampires.


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