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Quintana Roo

Novel by James Herbert (England) 1974.

It's the late 1930s and Connie Braithwaite has lost her husband, one of the five richest men in the world, in a plane crash inside the dense jungle of Quintana Roo, a shunned area inside Mexico. It is not known whether he is alive or dead, and thus according to American law the estate is all tied up; Connie must either find him alive or prove that he is dead before claiming her inheritance. She finds a respected local adventurer by the name of Johnny Hooker in Mexico, and persuades him to help her on her quest. But inside Quintana Roo are Mayans still untouched by civilisation, caymans, snakes, hundreds of killer insects and the legend of the mueratero or walking dead.

Gary Brandner pulls out the stops here to produce what is probably his best book and certainly his most mainstream. What's more, it's a bit of a departure for him: it was marketed as horror in England, under the title of Tribe of the Dead, and certainly contains elements of horror, but it's really more of an adventure story. With the liberties that are usually taken converting books into screenplays, this could easily have been turned into an Indiana Jones film, especially with the Nazis that appear towards the end. Forget The Howling and its sequels, this is where Brandner comes into his own.


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