Old House of Fear

Old House of Fear

Old House of Fear

Old House of Fear

Synopsis

Attorney Hugh Logan leaves Canada for Scotland to negotiate the purchase of Carnglass Island and the castle Old House of Fear for his employer, Duncan MacAskival. Logan is continually thwarted and threatened on his journey. But no matter how bad his travels, his arrival onto the island brings much worse trouble. Carnglass is under the control of evil genius Dr. Edmund Jackman, a Soviet-educated political revolutionary convinced that Logan is a spy who must die. Will Jackman's plot be thwarted? Will Logan be able to rescue the lovely niece of the noble owner of Old House? Will anyone get off the island alive?

Debuting in the 1960s, Old House of Fear was Russell Kirk's most popular book, selling more than all his other books combined. Yet this Gothic tale is more than just a fascinating work of fiction. As in all of Kirk's stories, a deeper meaning emerges -- in this case, a satirization of Marxism and liberalism -- demonstrating the acute sense of the moral that sets Kirk apart from other genre writers.

Excerpt

On this shrouded night, five men tossed in a boat off the island of Carnglass, where the sea never ierce and unnatural. Across the swell there came to the men in the boat the crash of some explosion. Clinging to their oars, they stared silent toward the land; the oldest man crossed himself. the flame, surging and waving for some minutes, soon sank lower. in a little while they heard faint distant sounds, several of them, like gunshots. the younger men looked to the old helmsman, who pulled hesitantly at his white beard.

Then he signed to them to put the boat about. Glancing fearfully at the distant flame as they heaved, two men hauled at the sail. in a minute they had changed course, and the fire in the night glowed at their backs as they pulled away from the uneasy neighborhood of silent and invisible Carnglass.

Three thousand miles away, two men sat in a handsome office. “That’s our island,” Duncan MacAskival said: “Carnglass.”

Across the Ordnance Survey map his thick forefinger moved to a ragged and twisted little outline, away at the verge of the Hebrides . . .

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