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Doomflight

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1981.

Guy Smith has written a few books that blur past and present, the best probably being The Wood; this is not quite up to that standard but is still another solid read from Smith, keeping in tune with the excellent run he started five books previously with Locusts. Big business has come to the sleepy town of Fradley in the form of a partnership attempting to turn a disused local wartime RAF station into a major international airport. Retired schoolmaster Hartley Lowe is leading the mounting local opposition, and he soon discovers that the site was built on an ancient Druidic stone circle complete with its dark rituals and human sacrifices. He foretells all sorts of misfortune, but as the ancient druids claim back their land, the level that the terror reaches is beyond even his expectations.

Fluid, well-paced and well-characterised, this builds well through dark and pessimistic prose into a wonderfully apocalyptic ending. Other than churning out consistently decent work at high speed, Smith's greatest talent has always been in his characterisation, and using a relatively large cast of main players here, he juggles them admirably. There are flaws - the book is somewhat predictable and there are a couple of minor continuity errors, but overall this is another worthwhile read from one of Smith's better periods.


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