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SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES...
on 14 February 2005
I first read this book over twenty years ago, when it was first released and loved it. I decided that it was time to give it another go around to see if my original opinion of it still held. Well, time has certainly not diminished the power of this book to hold the reader in its thrall. I still love this book, and it remains my favorite book by this author.
As far as horror stories go, this one is definitely up with the best of them. The author has written a riveting page turner with this tautly written, inventive tale. The author has taken some vampire folklore and given it a new twist. In the hands of this master of the horror genre, the quintessential battle between good and evil takes on a new dimension.
In Romania, deep in the heart of the Transylvanian Alps, lies the Dinu Pass. In April of 1941, a small squadron of German soldiers has been ordered to occupy a small, deserted, five hundred year old castle keep at the Dinu pass. From the beginning, Captain Klaus Woermann senses that there is something unusual about the keep. Looking as if it had just been built and inlaid with brass and nickel crosses in every corridor, crosses that the caretaker for the keep exhorts the Germans not to touch, the keep is an architectural oddity.
Soon the games begin, as an unseen force begins murdering his men. Captain Woermann sends a message to the high command. To his dismay, they respond by sending a Nazi squadron of einsatzkommandos under the leadership of SS Major Kaempffer to quell whatever local guerilla activity is, undoubtedly, responsible for the murders. Soon, these death's head troopers begin succumbing to the same fate as their German Army counterparts, and all hell breaks loose.
Enter the ailing Dr. Theodor Cuza, a Romanian Jew and former professor at the University of Bucharest. Although suffering from the ravages of scleroderma, he is ordered by the Nazis to the keep, as he is an expert in the history of the region. It is hoped that he will be able to shed some light on the mysterious keep and enable his hosts to defeat their unknown adversary.
Accompanied by Magda, his daughter, they find themselves confronted with the cruelty of the Nazis, the unexpected kindness of Captain Woermann, and something from their worst nightmares that has them call into question their deepest beliefs. Then, a mysterious red-headed stranger with piercing blue eyes also appears, and nothing is ever the same again.
This is one of the premier horror stories of all time. Bravo!