Sunday, March 11, 2018

Accursed by Guy N. Smith

Of all of the authors that write so-called scary books, Guy N. Smith is the undisputed leader of the pack. He is a master at building psychological terror, and his plots are fast-paced if not unrelenting. His characters run a gauntlet of mayhem and destruction. The nights are haunted and occupied with monsters we can sometimes see, and at other times they are monsters that take possession of our minds. Fighting these demons is nearly impossible. With Accursed from New English Library in 1983, Smith provides a variation on the Mummy’s curse with a paperback thriller that is guaranteed to send a razor sharp chill down your spine. It all starts when archeologist Mason returns to the United Kingdom with two mummies. After a while, they begin to stink so he buries them in his garden. Getting them out of that Egyptian tomb had been a harrowing experience anyway, and something wasn’t quite right about the excavation anyway. Set, the Egyptian god of Chaos and death and destruction, is a little angry at Dalukah and Aba-aner, the two Egyptians that were slain all those centuries earlier and whose bodies are now resting – but not at rest – in an English garden. Years after Mason passes on, his home is owned by George and Emily Brownlow, and George is suddenly possessed by the idea that he needs to dig up his garden and build an Air Raid shelter because he’s convinced End of Days is about to happen. In a Guy N. Smith novel, you’ve buggered yourself when when you start listening to the voices in your head. The mounting dread is enhanced by the details of a suburbanite’s life gone terribly wrong. Accursed is a masterful portrait of terror.

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