TITLE The Curse of The Fleers
A GOTHIC NOVEL by Basil Copper
PUBLICATION DATE September 2012
COVER ART Stephen E. Fabian
INTRODUCTION Stephen Jones
PRINT RUN unsigned
When Captain Guy Hammond, on convalescent leave from hisregiment, is contacted by his old friend Cedric Fleer, he finds himself plunged into a treacherous web of deadly intrigue and unimaginable horror surrounding a noble Dorset family. Cedric’s father, Sir John Fleer, is being driven to the brink of madness by the ghoulish apparition of the ‘Creeping Man of Fleers’ which haunts the battlements of Fleer Manor. Is the bloodied and dying figure the fulfilment of the gruesome ancestral curse laid on the family, or is there a yet more sinister explanation for the horrifying deaths that follow Hammond’s arrival at the ancient mansion?
As the mysterious deaths mount up, Hammond must unravel the family feud that has raged down the centuries between the Fleers and the Darnleys, born of appalling crimes in the bloody past. Is Sir Jeffrey Darnley, the Fleers’ hated neighbour, responsible for these terrible events? Or could The Great Waldo, a celebrated actor who is also a master of disguise, also be implicated? Then there is the grotesque menagerie at Fleer Manor containing Konga, a huge ape that is capable of tearing a human being apart, and the sinister catacombs beneath the house which hide an ancient and deadly secret.But with time fast running out, can Captain Hammond brave death and danger long enough to discover what that terrifying secret is?
Published for the first time anywhere in the version the author originally intended, The Curse of the Fleers is a ‘lost’ Victorian Gothic novel by one of Britain’s acknowledged masters of the macabre.
BASIL COPPER became a full-time writer in 1970. His first story in the horror field, ‘The Spider’, was published in 1964 in The Fifth Pan Book of Horror Stories, since when his short fiction has appeared in numerous collections and anthologies, and been extensively adapted for radio and television.
Along with two non-fiction studies of the vampire and werewolf legends, his other books include the novels The Great White Space, Necropolis, The Black Death and The House of the Wolf. Copper has also written more than fifty hardboiled thrillers about Los Angeles private detective Mike Faraday, and has continued the adventures of August Derleth’s Sherlock Holmes-like consulting detective Solar Pons in several volumes of short stories and the novel Solar Pons versus The Devil’s Claw.
PS has previously published Darkness, Mist & Shadow: The Collected Macabre Tales of Basil Copper in two volumes, and the British Fantasy Award-winning Basil Copper: A Life in Books, compiled and edited by Stephen Jones.