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Witch Spell

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1993.

Yvonne Wheeler is a white witch who wants to put as much distance between her teenage daughter Bobbie and her ex-husband Alec, a devout Satanist, before he corrupts her and leads her into the ways of evil. To achieve this, Bobbie is sent to Willington College in rural England where Yvonne hopes she will grow up in a predominately good atmosphere free from any of her ex-husband's twisted machinations. However Alec dies, his powers become heightened from beyond the grave, and he starts to successfully influence his daughter: she starts a coven with the lesbian head girl as a staunch ally, and proceeds to kill off her prospective chief opponents. Alec also causes Yvonne's death, but, like him, she also becomes more powerful than he could possibly imagine (now that sounds familiar), and Alec has a fight on his hands for the soul of their daughter.

After a couple of horror thrillers (The Black Fedora and The Knighton Vampires), a horror novel pretty much based on gratuitous sex (The Resurrected), and a children's animal fantasy (Badger Island, under the pseudonym of 'Jonathan Guy'), Guy Smith returns to his traditional territory of tacky gore novel with one of his best books for years.

Witch Spell has a lot of similarities to one of his previous novels, The Master, whose plot also centres on the antics of a Satanic coven in a rural boarding school. But this is everything that The Master tried and failed to be. Yes, it's tacky; yes, it's full of gratuitous sex and gore; yes, much of it is blatant wish fulfilment appealing to our baser natures - but Guy writes to entertain and, with novels like this one, succeeds where many more skilful writers fail dismally. It's well worth every penny. Sorry, every cent, as this was Smith's first book since Der Ruf des Werewolfs nearly twenty years before to be published out of his home country: it was picked up by Zebra Books in the United States as the first of a number of decent paperback originals.

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