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Satan's Snowdrop

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1980.

When wealthy American antique dealer Al Pennant buys the huge mansion overlooking the Reichenbach falls in Switzerland, he knows that it's last owner was a Nazi who tortured many people to death on the premises, but only his son Tod senses that his evil is still there. When they move in, Tod starts seeing things; then Al's wife, Veronica, witnesses a torture; and finally Al himself sees the evil Reichenbach. Even then he persists in transporting the entire mansion to Long Island. But the evil remains, and they keep on seeing reruns of Reichenbach's torturous exploits. And the link between past and present seems to be the single snowdrop in front of the house, a flower that periodically seems to be surrounded by blood.

After werewolves, crabs, bats, locusts, and monsters from space, a snowdrop seems a unusual thing for Guy Smith to base a novel around. But so was a bell, and Deathbell is one of his best books. This isn't as good, but it's good nevertheless - in plot, in character (Smith is a past master at creating mental anguish) and in the horror (the torture scenes are superb). Evil Nazis are always a popular subject for horror novels, but rarely has that evil been more evocative than here. Another worthwhile entry into the huge Guy Smith catalogue, in one of his best periods that started with Locusts.

This was originally titled just Snowdrop, but got changed presumably because it didn't sound like a horror novel. Unfortunately, Hamlyn didn't change the cover quick enough, so the original title still appeared on the spine of the first edition.


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