Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Devil's Laughter by William W. Johnstone



The Devil's Laughter
by William W. Johnstone
1992 Zebra Books

1824856

Something funny was going on in Louisiana's backwoods, but the devil was the only one laughing.

Less of the same.  People are acting funny in town, nobody's showering, etc.  Our hero, former CIA operative and reporter (?!) Link Donovan is at the center - the Balon family is mentioned but doesn't appear, along with Satan, sodomy, and everything else that made the Devil series sleazy fun.

Donovan takes care of wounded animals at his ranch home and is harassed by violent rednecks who he just guesses are Satanists.  Everything's small scale here - only a couple hundred Satanists instead of the whole town, God and his "mercenary angel" Michael don't show, and Satan is said to barely make an appearance.  We're teased with beasts, but their just an illusion, and the undead only appear in a comedic epilogue.

This one's more action packed than the rest, with Link spending his time tossing grenades and mowing down rednecks in the woods with a MAC-10.  At least Johnstone's action scenes are improving.

There are no evil clowns.

Available in Kindle ebook from Amazon

Click here to read a sample

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Watchers in the Woods by William W. Johnstone

Watchers in the Woods
by William W. Johnstone
Zebra Books, 1991


What the Ashes series did for Libertarianism, Watchers in the Woods does for animal rights.  It's as bad as that.

Johnstone's pantser tendencies are in full effect here.  We start off with five different couples going on a hiking trip after their joint 20 year school reunion.  Good enough set up for a horror novel.  But wait, one of the reunioners is a CIA contract assassin!  Let's go with that for a while.

On a mission that is never made clear, the CIA agent is ordered to the middle of the woods to do something with the Unseen, also called the Sataw and a dozen other names.  These are the same creatures from A Crying Shame, only more vague.  They're homo sapiens, but haven't evolved as much as the rest of humanity.  They've lived in isolation in the American woods, except for the several generations who have integrated into American society.

They are woefully underdescribed.  Some look like humans, some are hairier and have big teeth.  The only one that gets any description is a tribe leader who has a regular human body and full-on wolf's head.  Most are peaceful, but some are cannibalistic, gone mad by water pollution.  If they bite regular people, those people go mad under a full moon.  So we're told, it doesn't come up.

The reunioners go in the woods, fight the Unseen and some neo-nazis, then fight to get back out of the woods.  The plot is a mess, but we eventually get the full force of the US government involved.  Peaceful Unseen are put into camps, violent ones out in society go feral and kill thousands, and people yell at reporters for existing.

More action than horror, but mostly talking.  Lots and lots of talking.  By then end, Johnstone's giving us a monologue about the mistreatment of greyhound dogs.

Not to be confused with The Watcher in the Woods.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Zebra Books Misc - 1974-1982

There were a lot of titles in genres that were particular to the 70s.

Exploitation / Sexy Tell-Alls / Porn or Hooker Biography


1974

The Joys of Hooking by Virginia Graham (Zebra #1!)
Where have all the Little Girls Gone by M. K. Callie
Lily: The Diary of a French Girl in New York by Sandrine Forge
Society Hooker by Betsy Winston
Martnis, Manhattans, or Me? by Barbara O'Brien
The Wild White Witch by Peter Stafford


The Love Girl by Suzy Green

Diary of a Modern American Girl by Emily Goodman
China Nights by Ralph Shaw

1975

10 1/2 by Marc Stevens


The Whole Bedroom Catalog by Stephen Lewis

Amanda in Spain by Geoffrey Bocca
The Greek Goddess by R.T. Larkin

1976

Amanda in Germany by Geoffrey Bocca


Amanda in France by Geoffrey Bocca aka Commander Amanda

Washington Call Girl - The Original Washington Expose by Rachel Alceim

1977

Making It Big by Diana Clapton and Marc Stevens
Anytime, Anywhere! by Susie Swanson

Unexplained


1974

Intercept UFO by Renato Vesco
Your Practical Guide to Fortune-telling by Rod Davies

1975

The Witches Workbook: The Magick Grimoire of Lady Sheba
Universal Cosmic Mind Power by Samuel Dodson
The Great Pyramid by Warren Smith
The Strange World of Brad Steiger by Brad Steiger
Triangle of the Lost by Warren Smith
Eckankar: The Key to Secret Worlds by Paul Twitchell
Myth and Mystery of Atlantis by Warren Smith
The Opening of an Eye by Alice Lane

1976

Lost Cities of the Ancients Unearthed by Warren Smith
Pyramid Energy and How it Works for You by James Wyckoff
Strange Secrets of Loch Ness by Warren Smith
UFO Trek by Warren Smith
Discover the Riches of Universal Cosmic Mind Power by Samuel Dodson
The Hidden Secrets of the Hollow Earth by Warren Smith

1977

The Secret Origins of Bigfoot by Warren Smith


The Law of Psychic Phenomena by Thomas Hudson

The Law of Psychic Phenomena Volume 2 by Thomas Hudson

JFK Conspiracy


1975

Appointment In Dallas: The Final Solution to the Assassination of JFK by Hugh C. McDonald and Geoffrey Bocca

1977

Coincidence or Conspiracy by Bernard Fensterwald and Michael Ewing

Occult Investigator


1976

Father Hayes by Peter Leslie
The Steeds Of Satan by Peter Leslie

Martial Arts


1976

Bruce Lee's Basic Kung-Fu Training Manual by Claude St. Denise
Bruce Lee's My Martial Arts Training Manual by Claude St. Denise
Bruce Lee's Guide to Savage Street Fighting by Claude St. Denise

True Crime/Prison/Pimp


1976

Dig the Nigger Up - Let's Kill Him Again by Robert Chinn - ghetto/prison memoir
Blood Family by William Zamora - Manson trial juror

1977

The Virginia Ratt by Ratton Hall and Sandy Sidar - pimp/prison memoir



The Black Prince by Anonymous


Disaster

1978
Collision by Spencer Dunmore

1979
Eruption by Paul Patchick

1980
Epidemic! by Larry R. Leichter, M.D.
Avalanche by M Steele & Steve Cohen
The Omni Strain by Cliff Patton, M.D.

1981
Collision Over Toronto Airport by Spencer Dunmore
Drought! by Ralph Hayes
Ghost Rig by Cliff Patton
Shuttle by David C. Onley

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Black Horde by Richard Lewis

Black Horde
aka Devil's Coach-Horse
by Richard Lewis
1979 Signet



Like the best of disaster/animal attack novels, The Black Horde is largely a series of miniature character studies, each punctuated by gruesome death, here by tiny, man-eating beetles.  Lewis is kind enough not to waste page time on following any main characters.  A scientist finally pops up with a way to counter the plague, the end?  Lewis had the guts to kill off scores of children, but chickened out and did so off page.  Signet really jumped on the killer animal bandwagon around this time, with another dozen or so titles advertised.

Paperback from Amazon