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

Hellfire Today

Novel by Richard Harrington 1972.

A strange little puppy, this. Harrington effectively gives us a modern day fictional treatment of Francis Dashwood's real-life Hellfire Club. The new Lord Stoneham, still not too happy at becoming a lord, is dismayed still further when he discovers that he owes the tax man over half a million pounds in inheritance duty. Given that he has little but a big country estate, which he refuses to sell, he has nothing to pay it with. Whilst searching for money spinning ideas, he is handed a letter from his late father detailing the family's history in the black arts. Stoneham promptly forms a coven of powerful businessmen and politicians, hoping to make big money. But he finds that witchcraft works, the dangers are getting bigger and still the money doesn't roll in. How far can he go?

Harrington writes solidly from the viewpoint that witchcraft works, and just so long as you understand what you're getting into, it's better than anything else to get what you want. The dangers are high but the rewards are too. As a politically correct standpoint it sucks, but that should actually endear itself to most horror fans. Stoneham is an interesting character, a member of the landed gentry, the House of Lords, basically of the Establishment with a capital E, but he has much in him that is everyday and commonplace, he has longish hair and has money problems and likes the girls. In short he's an original sort of hero and this bodes well for the book which, to be honest, is short and sharp. But within the constraints of a hundred and twenty odd pages, Harrington puts in a odd slant on the occult novel. Not devastatingly unique but different enough to warrant a look.


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