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The Lurkers

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1982.

One of the rarer Guy Smith works, this was his last novel for the wonderful Hamlyn horror line before they ceased publishing and sold the list to Arrow. In another GNS novel with an autobiographical base, Peter Fogg, a writer, moves to a country cottage in Wales to write his next book. But everything seems to be against him: the locals are hostile to outsiders (and to the English), their pets are sacrificed on the local stone circle, and malicious tricks are being played on him. His wife and son soon withdraw from the battleground, leaving Fogg to stand his ground on his own.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this one and it runs along quite nicely, but it's short, it's predictable, and, surprisingly for Guy N Smith, it's subtle. Now, there's nothing wrong with a bit of subtlety and suspense, but generally there should be a bigger page count to build it, and this novel isn't sufficiently different from the author's other work to justify a lack of his patented gore.

Back to the autobiographical base, writer Peter Fogg's wife and son are called Janie and Gavin; writer Guy Smith has a wife called Jean and one of his sons is called Gavin. Smith does this regularly, featuring himself or members of his family as fictional characters in his books. Gordon Hall, the chief good guy in his debut novel, Werewolf by Moonlight, is basically Guy himself. His series character Mark Sabat is a wish-fulfillment Guy Smith, with identical background details to the author down to birth date, parent's names and schools attended. And the deaf child in Manitou Doll is named Rowan, the same name as Smith's eldest who is also partly deaf. Even his school features in two novels, getting attacked by bats in Bats Out of Hell and hosting a murderous radioactive mugging in The Pluto Pact. Die hard fans will know many more.


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