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Friday, 15 April 2016

Book review - The Hexing (Night Hunter #5)

Night Hunter #5 by Robert Faulcon (the late Robert Holdstock) was published in 1984 and we’re approaching the climax to Daniel Brady’s search for his abducted wife and two children.

This time, a gang of young children who are paying homage to the comic 2000AD are roaming the dilapidated buildings and deserted streets of a London borough when they uncover an underground river and awaken an evil entity. The horrors they discover are worse than any they encounter in the comic and lives are lost, but some escape.

Now, the police are taking supernatural events very seriously, though keeping it from the public. Room 17 is the operations centre where information is collated. And Detective Superintendent Sullivan is Brady’s link. A spectral black dog has been reported at the scenes of grisly deaths and they’re convinced it has something to do with the Arachne group that Brady seeks.

It’s revealed that the Government’s psychic research establishment is partly funded by ‘people like Koestler’ – (Arthur Koestler was a supporter of the paranormal, wrote The Roots of Coincidence, and endorsed extra sensory perception and other related phenomena). And while Brady consults a psychic diviner, a few other names are dropped, such as Uri Geller and the healer Matthew Manning (see his bestseller, The Link (1974)) Alas, the psychic is horribly murdered by an evil supernatural attack in Brady’s presence – but the death leads to another clue as to the whereabouts of Brady’s wife, Alison.

Hitherto, Brady has encountered a variety of magical black arts, pre-Roman, pagan, shamanistic, Norse – and the latest is the houngan from Haiti, yet this time this might serve him rather than combat him. It is becoming clear that the Arachne entity is attempting to harness all types of vile occult measures devised through the ages in order to bring about a spiritual and physical cataclysm, a fatal eclipse.

And seemingly only Daniel Brady stands in their way.

Another tense, fast-paced black magic tale, which ends with hope – and despair.

The penultimate novel in the Night Hunter series. Readers of the time would be kept waiting, however, as the final novel in the series wouldn't be published until 1987!

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