The Devil on Lammas Night (by Susan Howatch)

Of all Susan Howatch's early 'gothic' novels, I think this one is probably the most frightening. Not at all the kind of book I would normally read, but I like her writing so much that I decided I would try it.

The book is about Jane and Benedict Shaw, who rent a relatives cottage for the summer. Nearby, their relative Walter has had his house taken over by a group of health-food fanatics who want to make it their base.

Various other members of the families enter the scene, and gradually fall under the spell of the health-food group leader, Tristan Poole. An evil plot is revealed, as the book rushes to its conclusion.

Gothic melodrama, but realistically chilling.

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