Vampire Circus

November 20, 2012 - 3:04 pm No Comments

Vampire Circus Author: Mark Morris Publisher: Hammer Page count/size: 344pp Release Date: 4th Oct 2012 Reviewer: Theresa Derwin Working with Arrow Books, Hammer films have expanded on their recent ventures into films by treading water in the horror literature genre. They have started by releasing new novelisations of classic Hammer Horror films introducing some original fiction too. Vampire Circus by Mark Morris is a new, fresh and modern take on the classic film. This edition includes an introduction by film Director Robert Young. The novel starts as two young girls, Jenny and Lynn, enter Mitre House, at a time when local children are mysteriously disappearing. On the road home from school, the two girls meet creepy teacher Mrs Miller who offers one of the girls a ride home. Chris Blaine has been hired to follow Anna Miller, as her husband believed she was having an affair. Blaine is shocked to see Anna taking young Jenny to Mitre House, the local haunted and apparently abandoned building. Ten years later, his memories of searching Mitre House having evaporated, Dr Jon Kersh, friend to Nick (Anna’s widower) notices a strange illness attacking the residents of Shettle, leaving him confused, exhausted and feeling helpless. Nick begins to think that he is losing his mind, after all, he sometimes forgets his wife Anna dies, or even that he had a wife. A miasma of illness swirls around Shettle, as a barrier that stops the locals from leaving town, and outsiders entering town. At the same time, a strange circus has arrived, with calliope music in the air and a dwarf littering the local school with flyers; no-one is able to resist its lure. But what dangers lurk behind the fun veneer? Reminiscent of Funhouse by Richard Laymon, with all the circus tropes present, Vampire Circus lovingly recreates the atmosphere and scenery of the classic Hammer tales, whilst putting a new spin on it. The characters are well drawn, the tension mounts and there are some nicely gruesome bits to please traditional horror fans. Morris has written a truly enjoyable yarn that entertains on every level. This is the future of Hammer.

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