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Nicor!

Novel by Peter Tremayne (England) 1987.

Lieutenant Fortin Bandera, a Caracas homicide officer, has more than a few problems; in particular, he has to apprehend the psychopathic murderer of a rich local lady before he kills again. The ES 127 oil rig stationed off Venezuela also has problems; the killer is a member of the crew. To add to all this, the rig is being periodically attacked by a three hundred million year old dinosaur woken by their drilling; with no radio, with no defence and with every chance of being splintered into firewood.

The plot starts convincingly and with great promise, and the detective work is superb. However there is too much build up for the short ending, which turns out to be a bit of a letdown. The author fails to prevent the plot descending into Godzilla territory, albeit thankfully without any added visual tackiness such as plastic models of Tokyo being crumpled under giant foot. When not using the various pseudonyms he frequently employs for his works of fiction (only 'Peter Tremayne' covers the horror field), Peter Berresford Ellis is an acknowledged expert on the ancient Celts and has written many widely respected non-fiction works on the subject. Thus, when he writes novels about mythical Cornish monsters (The Morgow Rises!), mythical Scottish monsters (The Curse of Loch Ness and Snowbeast!) or mythical Irish monsters (in fantasy novels such as Raven of Destiny or Ravenmoon), they tend to ring true. When he starts on mythical Venezualan monsters, it all starts to go downhill a tad. Don't expect too much here.


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