WEREWOLF by Peter Rubie


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 Atmospheric boy-werewolf horror novel set against the London blitz. This is an inspired idea carried out through a less-than- gripping tale. In 1930, Detective Constable George Llewellyn leads a raid on a Gypsy camp on Smiths Common, which seems to have a regular abortionist, and where a pregnant woman gives birth during the raid to a full-term but ``deformed'' baby that causes that Gypsy abortionist to put the Evil Eye on Llewellyn: ``I curse you down the generations.'' Ten years later, the Battle of Britain is underway, with much of the story taking place as people crawl over all-present rubble and Nazi bombs light up the night. By now Llewellyn is a widower with his own coma-ridden or catatonic daughter under care in a special hospital--while Smiths Common is burdened by a rash of fresh corpses that suggests that some terrible wild beast is eating people, or parts of them. Llewellyn, now a detective sergeant, finds a bricked-up room in the basement of a derelict building where something has been manacled to a wall while being fed rats, cats, dogs, and Lord knows what-all, judging from the pile of bones in the stinking room. The reader is soon aware that a demented ten-year-old boy werewolf, the deformed baby Llewellyn, has escaped and is prowling the rubble. At the same time, a natural history of the werewolf is uncovered by Nevil Stimpson, an occultist of middle years, and through him the history of werewolves now in England. The climax is a chase through the rubble, the vicious boy werewolf hiding in pipes and Llewellyn reeling under his curse. The blacked-out rubble and impending bloodshed, as well as the slurp-slurp-crunch-crunch of the feeding werewolf, have their reading joys, but step-by-step police procedure fails to energize the storytelling.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0-681-41394-8
Page count: 272pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1991


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