Science fiction and fantasy
by Paul Magrs
Karla Sorenson is the ageless, vampy film star of the reputedly cursed original film and its modern remake. She's remarkably well-preserved for a woman in her 70s, and there's a certain whiff of sulphur and black magic about her. She seems to be able to wrap men around her little finger. But what is she trying to achieve with this devilish movie?
Meanwhile Robert, the manager of the Miramar hotel, is preoccupied by his new mystery man. There's something amiss about his latest beau. And Robert isn't the only one to experience relationship difficulties.
Paul Magrs' Whitby attracts all kinds of monsters and diabolical goings-on, so there's a bit of everything in Hell's Belles as all sorts of supernatural people fight for the upper hand. It makes for a good mystery, particularly when certain characters turn up who make it much harder for Brenda and Effie to do the right thing, or even to know what the right thing is.
There's actually more drama and less comedy than you might reasonably expect from a novel with as many zany characters as this one contains. But that's a good thing, because although the tone is fairly light it's never so fluffy that it ruins our empathy for the characters. So Hell's Belles turns out to be a gripping page-turner, with the added charm of pitting hellish and sinister threats against two bacon-sarnie-eating, no-nonsense Yorkshire women and their friends.
14th April 2010
Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Paul Magrs
Add your thoughtsAll comments are pre-moderated. Please do not post spoilers or abusive language.