Teenager Elsie Kerr is hospitalized with a high fever after being found raped and beaten. When eminent bacteriologist Sir Marcus Levin is asked to consult on the case, Elsie accuses him of the crime, pointing at him and screaming “Devil Daddy!”
Then things really start to get weird: Elsie ages eighty years in a matter of hours, and Sir Marcus finds himself racing to stop whatever killed her from spreading while at the same time trying to clear his name. But the trail will take some unexpected and sinister turns: a grisly corpse half-eaten by pigs, a coven of madmen with a diabolical plot, a grotesque and sacrilegious ritual, and an enigmatic old man who may be unable to die!
John Blackburn (1923-1993) is a master at reworking ancient and medieval legends into chilling tales of modern-day horror, and in Devil Daddy (1972), one of his most bizarre novels, he is at his most inventive. This new edition is the first in over four decades and joins fourteen of Blackburn’s other classic thrillers also published by Valancourt Books.
‘A flesh creeper . . . Mr Blackburn has few superiors in this genre when he is at the top of his form. Black magic, satanism, bacteriology, murder, rape . . . the required gasp of horror.’ – Spectator
‘Uncanny thriller. Fiendish . . . Horrendous mix of modern technology and medieval hocus pocus with finale that induces a “cauld grue.”’ – The Observer
‘Splendid ghoulish read.’ – Sunday Times
‘Even on the warmest night of the year, Mr Blackburn knows how to chill our marrow.’ – Scotsman