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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Clifton-Dey’

Valentine Penrose – The Bloody Countess

Posted by demonik on May 18, 2009

Valentine Penrose – The Bloody Countess (NEL, 1972)

Much admired history of the life and bloody crimes of Elizabeth Bathory, which, in Penrose’s capable hands, reads like a savage Gothic novel from the M. G. Lewis/ de Sade-in-Justine-mode school. Not to be confused with Robert Lory’s The Witching Of Dracula which addresses the Countess’s improbable adventures centuries after her death.

Thanks to Justin Marriott of Paperback Fanatic for the scan!

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Raymond Giles – Night Of The Griffin

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Raymond Giles – Night Of The Griffin (NEL 1971)

Richard Clifton-Day

Richard Clifton-Dey

Review by Nightreader

This is a pretty straightforward gothic romance with all the traditional elements you’d expect. Even for a reader who doesn’t know this genre it follows a fairly predictable pattern.

Beth St. Dennis is the heroine. She is encouraged by her far more glamorous flatmate Nina to accompany her to a Halloween party at her wealthy friend’s mansion, Griffon House, a suitably grand but spooky location. Griffon House is the family home of the Griffon family, in residence are the strikingly beautiful but wicked Maretta and her moody but attractive brother Robert.

Maretta is a witch, a white one she says, and wants Beth to view a Sabbat that is being held later in the evening. Maretta is interested in Beth because she has shown a talent for the Tarot and may be a gifted psychic. At the Sabbat Beth is charmed by Robert who persuades her to leave the Sabbat and spend time with him. Robert is a troubled man, he has scars on his wrists from a suicide attempt and is prone to deep and dangerous depressions.

Naturally Beth falls in love with Robert and he asks her to marry him. That is when things start to go wrong. Robert and Beth marry and this seems to be the catalyst for things to change. Beth begins to sense a great evil in the house, the stirring of the griffin perhaps, then Robert’s depression returns and he wants Beth to leave but wont say why. It eventually emerges that Maretta is the leader of a coven called the Children of the Griffin, whose members worship the Griffin as a manifestation of Satan himself. A sceptical Robert once pledged himself to the cult which demands that a member should never marry one outside the cult. Maretta now wants Beth to be initiated into the cult…

Sadly there isn’t a big satisfying Wheatley-esque finale but a kind of soppy cop-out, as Robert attempts to sacrifice himself to save Beth. Like I said this is all fairly predictable stuff, but apart from the weak ending, there are some good moments in the book. I liked the Children of the Griffin idea, the classic coven of hedonists, all prospering from their nefarious doings. Maretta is a good baddie, cool and sophisticated and scheming.

But in the end it’s not as good as ‘Night of the Warlock’…

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Ray Bradbury – The Small Assassin

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Ray Bradbury – The Small Assassin (Nel, 1970, 1973)

Richard Clifton-Day

Richard Clifton-Day

The Small Assassin
The Next In Line
The Lake
The Crowd
Jack-In-The-Box
The Man Upstairs
The Cistern
The Tombstone
The Smiling People
The Handler
Let’s Play “Poison”
The Night
The Dead Man

Blurb

‘Ray Bradbury has long been streets, ahead of anyone else. He has the imagination of Wells coupled with the gift of prose writing” – Daily Telegraph

‘Everything he writes has a glow of individual magic about it’ –Time & Tide

A fantastic journey into a world of beauty and terror with thirteen of the very best of Bradbury.
A baby born with the urge to kill — the couple who leave for a honeymoon, in a cemetery — a husband and wife who had an unpleasant experience with some mummified Mexican corpses — the tombstone in the bedroom — a little boy who examines the macabre entrails of the man upstairs.
A chilling collection that will linger in the dark vaults of your memory, long after you have finished reading it.

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Raymond Giles – Night Of The Vampire

Posted by demonik on September 16, 2007

Raymond Giles – Night Of The Vampire (Nel, Sept. 1970)

Raymond Giles - Night Of The Vampire

Cover artwork:  Richard Clifton-Day

They thought that the vows that they had taken so long ago in Sanscoeur had been meaningless, part of ignorant, childish, obscene game.

But an eerie, insistent voice was calling them back and they knew – Roxanne and Duffy and the others – they knew that they had to come back to face the lurking inhuman horror that awaited them.

For thirteen years ago, they had committed themselves to Satan. And now their fiendish master was calling them back to take his fearful revenge and turn their childhood game into one fearful NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE.

Here is a story full of black magic terror written with frightening realism. A story of an evil and corrupt battle between modern vampires and werewolves and satanic possession.

See also the following Raymond Giles threads on Vault:

Night Of The Warlock (Paperback Library edition)

Raymond Giles

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