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Childmare

Novel by Nick Sharman 1980.

Max Donnelly is an American security officer, trained in the urban slums of the States but working in inner London. With a year behind him, he and his team have decimated the ranks of the trouble causers at the notoriously uncontrolled school of Martin Balliol. But then a mysterious sickness afflicts the pupils. There are large numbers off sick, and Donnelly is worried. But after a weekend break, he finds that most are back at school and are behaving in a suspiciously subdued fashion - blank faced, well behaved, almost the perfect pupils. But this is the lull before the storm and the storm will rage. Throughout London and the country, the children rise up and riot, murdering, destroying and raping in turn. And with 600,000 kids in London alone, can the powers that be bring back control.

Taking the zombies from Dawn of the Dead, adding the speed and cunning of The Rats and mixing with his own speed-bred plots, Scott Gr�nmark delivers another winner. Though not an obvious clone like The Cats, but far from the originality of The Scourge, this does seem to be intensely familiar ground. But when we have schoolkids raping their cute teachers and throwing people into burning buildings, there is a level of sickness here that even most horror writers haven't reached. It isn't too surprising that this was Gr�nmark's second and last book for Hamlyn, originators of the 'nasty' sub-genre. The lack of originality takes off points, but the intense dodgyness and the wonderful, if short, ending put them back on. In short, this is a sick novel with a lot of flaws, but which makes up for them with sheer concentrated nastiness. For the sleazier end of the market, this is pretty damn good.


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