CURFEW by Phil Rickman


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 Horror myth meets New Age psychology on the ghost-riddled border of England and Wales. Promising American debut of a former BBC radio and TV journalist who did a four-year radio stint focused on the supernatural in Wales. The long-lived village of Crybbe lies on ley-lines of evil energies that once poured from big cryptic stones that surround the town and from an Ancient Monument--The Tump--overlooking the town. But the stones have been buried or destroyed, and the energies held at bay by the peace-bringing nighttime tolling of a curfew bell. Even so, tight-lipped townsfolk will tell radio interviewer Fay Morrison nothing about the village's evil history, even though Fay now resides there, attending her elderly dad, and broadcasts from a makeshift station in a former men's room of the Cock Hotel. But ``the dragon''--a vast Being of Light now held underground, whose parts are various points in the village and landscape--stirs when New Age impresario and record tycoon Max Goff decides to replace the lost stones, bring new psychic energies to Crybbe, and put the town on the map as a tourist attraction. Soon the dead walk. Fay's dad's dead mistress now arrives nightly and communes with her cat and her old lover. Teenage rocker Warren Preece finds a lead-lined box behind a walled-up fireplace and its horrid contents transform him into.... We follow Goff as he hires old water-dowser Henry Kettle to locate the sites of the lost stones. Kettle once wrote a book about the ``ancient science'' with Joy Powys, who becomes Fay's lover when he returns to Crybbe to claim an inheritance from Henry. The stones arise--and then the whole town's rocking as the energy-sucking dragon erupts like a grotesque marriage of St. Michael and the batwinged Satan of Disney's ``Night on Bald Mountain'' in Fantasia.... Old stuff made to dance anew with smart writing, classy passages.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-13861-7
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993


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