Every night for 400 years, a curfew bell has tolled from the church tower of Crybbe—superstitious ritual or sole defense against an ancient evil?
In Crybbe, only strangers walk at twilight . . .
For 400 years, the curfew bell has tolled nightly from the church tower of the small country town, Crybbe's only defense against the evil rising unbidden in its haunted streets. Radio reporter Fay Morrison came to Crybbe because she had no choice. Millionaire music tycoon Max Goff came because there was nothing left to conquer, except the power of the spirit. But he knew nothing of the town's legacy of dark magic—and nobody felt like telling him.
New Age mystics, led by a record producer moonlighting as a necromancer, rouse a sleepy town's evil spirits in this stylish novel of the occult, the first U.S. publication for British author Rickman. Nestled between England and Wales, the decrepit village of Crybbe and its aging, truculent residents are off the beaten track and prefer to stay that way. But the writings of J. M. Powys, theoretician of the paranormal, inspire Max Goff, the millionaire founder of Epidemic Records, to buy up Crybbe and restore it to what he imagines to be its former glory as a conduit to the spirit realm known as ``The Golden Land.'' As Goff and his cohorts--some of them sinister, some merely silly--make their improvements, psychic turbulence ensues that will shake even the most stolid reader. It's up to radio reporter Faye Morrison, stranded in Crybbe with her aging father, and Powys himself, who comes to see the naivete of his former ideas, to ward off disaster. Rickman convinces with his intricate account of the town's hex: ancient ``ley-lines'' mapped out by druidic-style stones conduct a psychic power that the traditional curfew of the novel's title--100 rings of the church bell every night at 10 o'clock--can only contain for so long. The spell is so complete, in fact, that closure becomes difficult: Rickman himself can't--or won't--quite shut the door on the horrors that he introduces here. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.