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

The Plague

Novel by James Darke (England) 1986.

In the final instalment in Laurence James's Witches series, begun by The Prisoner, John Ferris and his albino companion, Andrew Turlough are on their way to stay with Andrew's aunt in Norfolk. But naturally her village of Stalham is no longer a happy place to live. Rats from a ship bringing cheese from Amsterdam have carried the dreaded Black Death to the area, and the newly rebuilt Cold Hurstenham House is the new home for a coven of witches severely depleted by their last tangle with Ferris. The noble Frasers may have their revenge on him yet.

Just as the last of the first half of the Witches series was the best of them, so too is the last of the second half. Not as interesting as book four, The Escape, this is nevertheless a fine read. Concerning itself as much with the activities of the evil dwarf who runs Cold Hurstenham House as the plague of the title, the two combine to provide a wonderfully ironic ending, and as fitting a demise for Lady Eleanor as that which almost claimed Robert Monk in The Escape. Less nasty than most of the series, this nevertheless includes some wonderful scenes of depravity, including a renactment of the last hours of Jesus Christ. It's just a pity that you have to wade through two very poor books to get to the good stuff in the other six. Persevere.


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