Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Hammer of Dr. Valentine


“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press.  Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. 
“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press.  Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press.  Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

Last fall, I was contacted by Simon Marshall-Jones, owner and editor of Spectral Press, to do the cover for John Llewellyn Probert's fiendish tome "The Hammer of Dr. Valentine".
As a fan of Probert's horror fiction and film reviews I enthusiastically accepted the challenge. I'd purchased and read the first book in the series, "The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine" which utilized the films of Vincent Price as influence for Dr. Valentine's horrific murders. In "The Hammer of Dr. Valentine", the classic British horror films of Hammer Studios serve as the influence for Dr. Valentine's dastardly deeds. The books are novella length and a rather quick and engaging read, chock full of English locations and landmarks, vivid characters and scenes of wonderfully wicked and elaborate methods of dispatch. A Grand Guignol of ghastly horrors await the reader as Dr. Valentine exacts a terrible vengence upon his victims. The story is a riventing game of cat and mouse that is part horror, part police procedural and, depending on how demented you are, delightfully humorous.
But make no mistake, Dr. Valentine is all business. Horror business!  The brilliant writing, evocative descriptions and creative methods of demise ensured that there was no shortage of imagery from which to draw when crafting the cover art.

If you are curious to know more, the following is a brief synopsis of the book:

"Two years ago, a series of horrific murders shocked the city of Bristol. These were killings so elaborate in their planning, and so outrageous in their execution, that they made national headlines for weeks. 
Now the journalists who wrote the stories behind those headlines are beginning to die, in ways even more gruesome, even more flamboyant, and even more unbelievable than the murders they themselves wrote about at such length in the national dailies all those months ago.

Has Dr. Valentine returned?"

"The Hammer of Dr. Valentine" has been issued as a hardback release limited to 100 copies.