The Hand of the Devil

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Dean Vincent Carter
Bodley Head Children's Books
Feb 2006
"It occurred to me long ago that what scares us most isn't death, disease or nuclear war. What's most terrifying isn't the world outside, but the world inside."

Receiving an intriguing letter from a Mr Reginald C. Mather, journalist Ashley Reeves sets off on an expedition to Tryst in the Lake District in pursuit of an exclusive story about the Ganges Red mosquito for magazine �Missing Link�. His arrival at Tryst is marked by an imminent rainstorm and on his journey across to Mr Mather�s island, Ashley looses control of his boat colliding it into rocks. Shattering on impact, Ashley is thrust into the cold waters of the lake and swims towards the island, arriving with a soaked, broken mobile phone and no immediate means for leaving the island�

The story moves on apace from this point forward and author Dean Vincent Carter proves himself a master of the genre displaying a true understanding of the terrors of one's internal world and gradual corrosions of control... Mr Mather seems the archetypal, if not eccentric, entomologist. He is learned in insects, theories of evolution and also the legends surrounding the exceptionally sized Ganges Red mosquito � an insect the size of a human hand and capable of secreting an agonising toxic saliva that aids the creatures blood ingestion. Paternal scenes where Mr Mather�s brings in cups of tea echo the extreme juxtaposition of psychosis with seeming geniality meaning character leanings of Mr Mather�s are as shocking and atypical as those of Hitchcock�s Norman Bates�

Central use of the mosquito is a touch of genius, the blood-sucking is reminiscent of the most traditional Vampiric horror stories, yet the more grounded use of an insect sets this story firm amidst the consciousness. �The Hand of the Devil� is a multi-dimensional story. On one level it can be read as a taut and particularly gruesome, gripping and, in points, graphic horror story. On a more figurative footing, the story of the Ganges Red mosquito charts the horrifying ways in which love that is lost can manifest itself when a failure to grieve and to arrive at some sort of solace in one�s thoughts arises whilst at once being, in parts, genuinely touching. A true gore-fest, read this book and you�ll never see mosquitoes in quite the same way again�!

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on January 28, 2006 10:37 AM.

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