Daemonic


Mr Draegerman requests the pleasure of your company. If you come with us, this fifty thousand is yours. You get another two hundred thousand when you get there.

Jack Draegerman loves deals.

He made his first fortune in the fields of architecture, engineering and design, with a reputation not only as a ruthless business man but also as an infamous director of some of the most extreme horror movies ever made.

No one has seen Jack Draegerman for ten years. He lives in a huge fortress he designed and built himself. Known as The Rock, its interior is a crazy structure of labyrinthine, descending corridors. With no way out.

But now, a band of uniformed henchmen is approaching a selection of unconnected people on Draegerman's behalf. he wants them to visit him, and he's prepared to pay for the privilege.

Because Jack Draegerman has made contact with a Daemonic force. A Daemonic force who also loves a deal.

SHIVERS Laws is a master craftsman and this novel takes him into new and uncharted territory. The prose and description is superb. Daemonic is a hugely satisfying and entertaining read. the characters are an interesting and resourceful bunch, and the daemonic forces out to get them are suitably horrific and nasty. The triumph, however, is The Rock. This monstrous edifice is a masterful creation, a towering temple of evil and hate that swallows its victims alive. I dare you to venture in alone.

SAMHAIN  In his previous seven novels North-Eastern author Laws has proved more than adept at mapping out the horrors of the city (or in his first novel 'Ghost Train', the inter- city railway line between London and home town Newcastle). Streets are dangerous, buildings can be possessed, vagrants may be hosts for the demons of Hell, and a terminally seductive vampire could lurk anywhere from the local library to the car park. In 'Daemonic' Laws fuses his taste for modern urban Gothic with a personal passion for the cheesier sub-categories of fantastic films ('She Wasp', 'Swamp Water Woman', invented titles so wonderful that I'm amazed Jonathon Ross hasn't rediscovered them) and effectively erects a fortress of manufactured horrors amidst the more mundane atrocities of inner-city life. This is The Rock, home of reclusive millionaire Jack Draegerman ( a heady fusion of Howard Hughes and Roger Corman). More than a home, though, this enclosed, forbidding edifice is an externalisation of Dragerman's murky imagination, where heavily-armed henchmen aren't the worst thing that the unwitting visitor has to contend with. Cheerless corridors, variously slimy, cobwebby and video-enhanced, lead to reconstructed film sets - complete with in-house monsters given a little cinematic buzz by the powers of daemonic possession. So it's little wonder that the seven people graciously invited into The Rock are more than a little anxious to get out while they still can.

This is a direct, punchy and action-packed horror fuelled, I'm sure, by an authorial youth happily misspent in the flea-pit cinemas of Tyneside. Fans of the genre will enjoy picking up the movie references, (including a cod quote from a British critic/author not entirely unrecognisable to afficionados), while anyone at all who enjoys a thumping good chase through a murky architectural nightmare with murderous security guards and/or pit-bull daemonic entities in hot pursuit is guaranteed an enthralling read.