On a late rainy evening a young scientist, folklorist Andrey Belaretsky finds himself lodging overnight in a mysterious castle belonging to the Yanovskys, an old noble family. There he meets the hostess of the house, Nadzezhda Yanovsky, a neurotic young thing and the last descendant of her family. Fears and terrible premonitions, for which she believes to have substantial grounds, overpower her. The act of betrayal by her far ancestor Roman Yanovsky the Old brought the curse on the family for twenty generations to come, and has since claimed lives of all the young noble’s relatives under bizarre and unnatural circumstances. Nadzeya expects her nearing demise in terror, moreover supported by the recent signs of the upcoming tragedy. Ghosts of the Little Man and the Lady-in-Blue were sighted wandering around the castle, and out in the fields from time to time shows itself the Wild Hunt.
Belaretsky collects his wits and bravery, and decides to remain in the castle for a while to assist the hostess Yanovsky in getting rid of the ghosts, whose existence he dismisses wholeheartedly. Soon he beholds the appearance of strange creatures, along with several mysterious deaths in the cursed family’s circle. Finally, Belaretsky himself barely escapes the Wild Hunt, a group of twenty silent ghostly knights, dashing through the watery swamps and delivering death to everyone who obstructs their way. Driven by the desire to discover the truth to the horrible mystery of the Yanovskys, the young man resorts to whatever is available to him so as to stop the Wild Hunt and free the inhabitants of the Marsh Firs from their now nearly eternal fear. The stranger as he is, having unhallowed the ghosts of the cursed place, Belaretsky has yet much to learn indeed.
King Stakh’s Wild Hunt is a suspense mystery thriller, set against a historical background. The story kicks off from the book’s first pages, throwing the reader into the atmosphere of a dark intense fear before the inevitable. It doesn’t take long for the reader to begin anxiously accompanying Belaretsky on the swamps, meeting strange personae here and there, all of them either mad or scared, or hiding something important, and at times simply miserable.
The canvas of this detective story includes a personal theme of the author’s sad concern for his nation’s destiny. The search for the truth that unites the novella’s characters is in fact the author’s contemplation - which he passes on to the reader - of the society in the late XIXth century, its conditions and its prospects for the future.
A brand new Sherlock Holmes anthology to sit alongside George Mann’s successful anthologies, and Titan’s and series.
A brand-new collection of Sherlock Holmes stories from a variety of exciting voices in modern horror and steampunk, edited by respected anthologist George Mann. Stories are told from the point of view of famous associates of the great detective, including Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, Sherlock himself, Irene Adler, Langdale Pike, and of course, Professor Moriarty…
Number 1 bestselling writer Stephen King introduces and presents six gripping and chilling stories in this captivating anthology:
Stephen King discovered these stories when he judged a competition run by Hodder & Stoughton and the Guardian to celebrate publication of his own collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. He was so impressed with the entries that he recommended they were published together in one book.
Reader beware: the stories will make you think twice before cuddling up to your old soft toy, dipping your toe into the water or counting the spots on a leopard…
A group of gangsters takes a complete control of a little town in the sticks. Defending his daughter the protagonist accidentally shoots their chief and walks away in full view of the crowd. He hides in the forest living with the Saami deer-breeders and is completely transformed from a nonentity to a people's avenger, killing the corrupt mayor and the chief of police. The townsfolk are first overjoyed, but when a prize is offered for his head they compete to turn him in to the police. In the end, his murders are put down to the local factory owner who needs to be removed and the town returns to its normal life controlled by new gangsters.
This action-packed novel that echoes Crime and Punishment shows how people would rather withstand the known evil than fight for change.
From Russian press reviews: «live dialogues, vivid imagery, striking metaphors», «colorful ethnographic details», «merciless and beautiful prose, pithy and precise, leaves no one unmoved»; «a frightening vision of Russia by a young and talented author — this is how the young generation see their country.»
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