I’m having a lot of fun reading Kiss of the Cobra, a horror story by Peter Tremayne originally published in 1984, and recently reprinted by Venture Press.
Tremayne – the alias of Cornish writer Peter Berresford Ellis, famous for his historical mysteries featuring Sister Fidelma, also has a solid track record as an author of horror thrillers.
Kiss of the Cobra is a very straightforward horror, classic in the way the old Hammer and Amicus movies were classics, or old Cannon Films summer features tried to be. And it has an Indian setting, which is a bonus – I can’t remember many Indian horrors apart from Dan Simmons’ masterful Song of Kali.
Kiss of the Cobra is not so groundbreaking – but a good yarn has no need to change the world to be enjoyed, and quite enjoyable Kiss of the Cobra is turning out to be.
Mot a game-changer, probably, but good solid entertainment.
The plot in a nutshell: an archaeological expedition in Bengal to explore a lost Hindu temple meets with the hostility of the local community and an age-old curse involving the Mother of Serpents.
There’s a sarcophagus, a long-dead woman, and, of course, snakes.
Tremayne’s horrors were a staple of the diet of my classmates back in high school (yes, I am that old).
My then girlfriend considered him better than King: Tremayne did a series of Dracula novels she enjoyed very much.
It’s been three decades now since I last read something of his, but this book is bringing back many happy memories.
I’ll have to read more from him.