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Charnel House

Novel by Graham Masterton (Scotland) 1978.

Seymour Wallis calls in the sanitation people because his house is breathing. As various investigators succumb to various grisly fates, the problem naturally escalates until John Hyatt becomes involved. Hyatt is a sanitation man, interested not least because two of the aforementioned investigators are workmates of his, and he starts looking deeper. He finds the problem lies in Red Indian legend, where the myth of the greatest evil demon of them all and its technique for reincarnation is a bit close to recent events for comfort. The hunt is on for another ancient Red Indian demon's magical hair, apparently being the only useable weapon.

Masterton delves once more into Red Indian territory for this short and snappy novel, which is, as usual, well worth the read. There are some similarities in concept with perhaps his most famous book, his hugely popular debut novel The Manitou, but thankfully they don't intrude into plot. It's also good to see a writer making a 180-page story fill 180 pages and not 480, a trap which many modern authors fall into much too often. Who mentioned Stephen King? Once again well worth the brass.


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