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Judgement Day

Novel by Nick Sharman 1982.

Scott Grønmark, writing as 'Nick Sharman' turned out a varied bunch of horror novels. From pure splatter (The Cats, Childmare) through intelligent urban detective work (The Scourge) to intensely character-driven suspense (The Surrogate), he produced consistently decent work. Unfortunately, Judgement Day doesn't follow suit.

The back cover blurb and the prologue chapter give away 95% of the plot: in small town America, attorney Tom Carlyle discovers the raped and burned body of Sue Ann Ainsley. Realising who was involved, he agrees to keep the whole story suppressed, in return for certain favours. Ten years later the whole thing is mostly forgotten, until Jack and Dorothy Mortlock move to the town where Jack is to work at an agricultural chemical firm. They are happy, but their daughter Louise is troubled by something and soon has a horrific accident, after which she seems to be someone else�

This was easily the longest 'Nick Sharman' novel, at least up to this point, and working with a more detailed background, and more characterisation, Gr�nmark does his job well enough. But with the whole story already given away, all we can do is wait and see just how Sue Ann's revenge through Louise comes about. That's not much of a suspenseful read, especially after the numerous plot twists in The Surrogate. Smooth, but disappointing.


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