Black Cathedral
L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims

Trade Paperback/287 pages
ISBN: 0-843961996
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". . . elegant and intelligent horror . . ."

Black Cathedral: Horror of the first water.


Robert Carter and Sian Davies, members of Department 18, investigate strange occurrences at a semi-detached house built in the 1930s in the midst of families and seeming normality. Sian Davies disappears without a trace, and Robert Carter blames himself when he comes to four hours later. Department head Crozier is all too happy to use Sian's disappearance to get rid of Carter.

On lonely and uninhabited Kulsay Island off the coast of Scotland, six members of a management team on an Outward Bound training weekend, a pilot and his helicopter, and the manor staff vanish as though they never existed. The only sign that anyone had been on the island is a recent smear of blood.

Jane Talbot chooses a team to investigate the dark manor on Kulsay Island. Her boss, Crozier, insists she include Robert Carter. Jane Talbot, Robert Carter and the team embark for the island unaware that they are the focus of forces that have waited centuries for them.

There is psychological horror and visceral horror where bloody nightmare figures slash and claw their way through the pages. Then there is elegant and intelligent horror that smiles benignly while sliding icy daggers deep into the bone marrow just to watch the blood pool and grow black, combining psychological and visceral horror into a new and unforgettable pattern. L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims’s Black Cathedral is of the latter variety. Meticulous in its historical detail and infinitely more frightening than the most bloody, gruesome nightmare, Black Cathedral seductively twists the world with surprising and deceptive ease.

Maynard and Sims are erudite horror stylists whose stories leave a lingering shiver of delicious terror that leave the reader wanting more.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell