VOICES OF DOOM by Basil Copper


Email this review


From a prolific Britisher: seven undistinguished occult/horror stories, four of which have already appeared in Copper collections like From Evil's Pillow (Arkham, 1973). Two are haunted-housers--one of them a straight, short reworking of the basic ghost-hunter format (""The House by the Tarn""), the other a more elaborate variation wherein the ghost of a woman-defiling maniac returns to add one more violated corpse to his crowded graveyard (finally an exorcism must be held). ""The Gossips"" is a long, dull non-chiller about ancient Italian statues that seem to talk and move; ""The Stranger"" and ""Charon"" are moody one-twist tales that will be old-hat to any even casual Twilight Zone fans; ""A Very Pleasant Fellow"" is equally uninventive, but its quietly violent hero--a retired chap who uses an ""infernal machine"" to destroy the bustling type who has taken over his store--is appealingly drawn. Ironically, in fact, the only fully satisfying story here is entirely non-occult, a Jack-the-Ripper-ish suspenser with a dandy final surprise--only canny readers will see it coming. Otherwise: formula tales in imitation-Poe prose, slow and predictable and not particularly scary.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's