Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Charnel Caves by Guy N. Smith

The Charnel Caves is the 9th Crabs book by Guy N. Smith. Published by the Sinister Horror Company, I was fortunate to purchase my signed copy at Guy’s house at this year’s GNS Convention. It takes a special kind of writer to make giant crabs squeamishly horrific. GNS hasn’t lost his touch. Although the book is short, it’s suspense level is high, and the book might serve as a coda to the Crabs’ series. Cliff Davenport is back for one final encounter with the crabs, except this time there’s a giant jellyfish lurking about. This leads me to wonder if GNS has another sequel in mind. Cliff has been having nightmares and trouble sleeping due to his previous encounters with the crabs, so he decides to return to the Welsh coast to put his demons to rest. As fate will have it, another batch of mutated crabs are growing and immediate action is required. Divers are employed to verify the location, and naturally a few locals become victims to the hungry crabs. These scenes are typical of the series but are handled well by GNS. The twist here is the inclusion of a giant jellyfish which isn’t really exploited, hence my suspicion that GNS isn’t quite done with this series yet. A subplot involving a top secret Russian submarine encounter with the crabs adds a wee bit of texture. This is a fast read and loads of fun, especially for readers familiar with the other books. I do recommend you read this series in order.


Night of the Crabs (1976)
Killer Crabs (1978)
The Origin of the Crabs (1979)
Crabs on the Rampage (1981)
Crabs’ Moon (1984)
Crabs: The Human Sacrifice (1988)
Killer Crabs: The Return (2012)
Crabs Omnibus (shorts collection, 2015)
The Charnel Caves (2019)