Author: Peter Tremayne
Book: Snow Beast!: A Harrowing Thriller
Published: October 2017
Publisher: Venture Press
People have seen them in many parts of the world. In the Himalayas, they are called Yeti. In Australia, Yowie. The Sasquatch roam North America. The Scottish have the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui.
Ellen MacDonald makes a surprise visit to her uncle’s remote lodge in the snow-swept Cairngorms. She finds her uncle, Doctor MacDonald, tending a brother at the monastery of Saint Bechan. The brother seems to have a strange fever. The monks think it’s possession. People fall prey to an unknown creature in the nearby community with shepherds and their animals torn to pieces. In the mountains, people hear a terrifying wail in the winds. Some call it the cry of the Snow Beast.
I have previously enjoyed Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma Mysteries. Snow Beast! is the first horror novel of his I have read. Doctor MacDonald receives a call from St. Bechan monetary when Brother Andrew falls ill. The good doctor believes it is a nervous breakdown, but some things don’t make sense. To the Abbot, it looks like possession. Doctor MacDonald returns to find his niece, Ellen, has returned. In the meantime, some mountaineers go climbing, and their leader is injured. People start dying, and there is a wailing in the wind. People start talking about a snow beast (the Big Grey Man).
I enjoy cryptid tails. The Snow Beast begins with mysterious, brutal deaths, promising something titanic. The result is something of a letdown. Peter Tremayne’s monster proves a disappointment, and much of the book becomes cliché. All that was missing was torches and pitchforks.