The Keep by Paul F. Wilson

The Keep by Paul F. Wilson
A massive novel, and an Epic Volume, The Keep starts strong and gets better and better. The book has corpses, castles, Nazis, medieval evil and terror hardened villagers and soldiers.  There are mysterious messages written in blood, an unknown evil wreaking havoc, and an ancient sorceror from the 'First Age' of humans. There's something so satisfying about Nazis getting it in the neck.  It's not hard to pinpoint, and the physical and psionic assaults on the hapless German soldiers stay satisfying til the end.

German soldiers and SS einsatzkommandos are being slowly killed off in a mysterious castle (the "Keep" of the title) high in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in April 1941. A Jewish History Professor living in Bucharest, Theodore Cuza, and his daughter Magda, are collected and delivered in a desperate effort by SS Sturmbannfuhrer Eric Kaempffer to find out what is murdering his men.

It’s shocking to discover that there are Romanians out there who do not believe in vampires, but they come to their senses before long. The Keep is a full on operatic novel, with pedigree, partially let down by a film version by Michael Mann for Paramount in 1983. The film was a disaster but retains a cult following, partly due to Tangerine Dream's work on the soundtrack.

Every night I was reading this (the book is better than the film!) my delight increased, and approaching a bedside table that has a copy of The Keep on it is a thrill not to be undervalued. The Keep has runes in it that say ‘stranger leave my home’ – so everything is perfectly laid out, and executed. To the last Nazi.
'Cowed by the amplified sounds of his own terror, Grunstadt stood transfixed as the walll into which his friend had crawled bulged outward, minute cracks appearing along the jagged edges of the heavy granite blocks.  A wide cravice jagged up from the space left by the stone they had removed.  The few puny lights strung along the corridor began to dim, and when they were nearly out, the wall burst open with a final convulsive termor, showering Grunstadt with shards of shattered stone and releasing something inconceivably black that leaped out and enveloped him with a single smooth swift flowing motion.  The horror had begun.'

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