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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eerie tale of dark forces, unleashing an onslaught of violent gory fun, 29 May 2009
This review is from: Deathbell: A Horror Story (Paperback)
First published back in 1980, Guy N Smith's pulp horror novel `Deathbell' was one of four horror novels to be released that year by this prolific writer.

The story is set in the quaint village of Turbury, where the arrival of the Hamilton's is the gossip of the village. Martyn Hamilton, his wife, their Chinese servant-girl and their ferocious pet dog have recently purchased Caelogy Hall that had previously been left deserted for a number of years.

Curiosity stirs in the local community as the Hamilton's begin making alterations to their new property, namely a large oriental bell that Martyn Hamilton commissions the local tradesmen to have installed within the property's old belfry.

No expense is spared on the installation of this gigantic bell, with such a great importance put on this new addition to the property that it attracts the attention of the entire community. But there's much more to this ancient bell than what first appears.

With the bell now fully operational, the residents of Turbury are increasingly subjected to its haunting tones as the bell rings out on the village. With the chiming still ringing in the ears of the community, madness starts taking over those who hear the deathbell and with it blood is shed throughout the town.

From the very outset of the tale, an underlying feeling of unease throbs throughout the book, causing an unnerving eeriness to the progressing storyline. Suggestions of an occultist nature are made to the reader from early on, with a strong direction towards this gigantic bell Hamilton is erecting.

The subtle characterization is portrayed in a surprisingly creepy way, with an unspoken understanding that the Hamilton's are hiding some dark secret.

The pace of the novel gradually picks up, increasing the tension within the storyline, as the deathbell's chimes become more and more frequent. The consequential madness that overwhelms the community brings with it pages of graphic blood splattered gory violence.

Smith delivers a well thought out twist to the tale which you won't see coming. The novel concludes well, with a satisfying grand finale that wraps up the story with an imaginative and inspired explanation to the deathbells curse.

The novel runs for a total of 200 pages and was later followed up with the 1987 sequel entitled `Demons'.
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Location: Cardiff, Wales

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