Saturday, January 09, 2016

Death-Doctor by J.N. Williamson

(pb; 1982: fourth book in the Lamia Zacharius quadrilogy)

From the back cover:

"In a huge old house in the small quiet town of Thessaly, another baby is born. It is the size and shape of a newborn infant, pink-skinned and plump -- but it is the essence of all that is evil: a deadly, horrifying demon who hungers for fresh human blood.

"And as the lovely 'doctor' Lamia Zacharius, Queen of the Vampires, cradles the scarlet-eyed creature in her arms she croons with hideous delight. For now she has all the innocent young mothers of Thessaly under her spell, never thinking that their sweet, trusted doctor is really the death-doctor."


This fourth entry in the Lamia Zacharius series makes up for the filler-not-thriller previous book, Death-School. As I noted in my review of that book, Williamson could have abbreviated Death-School 's storyline, merged it with Death-Doctor (as its first two chapters) and created a better over-all tale.

Death-Doctor, like its prequels, sports brief philosophical musings (which could have been cut out), as well as an underlying quirkiness (and toying with iconic horror images), lots of sex, blood and violence, and Greek and Chinese mythology: this is an off-beat, fun offering, with occasional plot veers expanding the storyline beyond its vampire-familiar set-up.

This quadrilogy is not ground-breaking, nor is it a must-own collection. However, for dedicated horror fans, there are bits of semi-experimental and effective but low-key ideas that I have not seen thusly expressed in other books in this genre. This book, this series is worth owning, if you have a deep love of B-movie horror trappings; if you do not, do not waste your time with these novels.

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