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Harry Erskine Books In Order

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Publication Order of Harry Erskine Books

The Harry Erskine series is a set of novels by renowned British horror novelist Graham Masterton. Given that Graham dabs in so many other genres and has many other series under his belt, the publication of the six novels in the series has been sporadic. That being said the bulk of the novels have been published between 1976 and 2009. The lead character in the series is the self-styled psychic Harry Erskine. When we first come across the enigmatic Erskine, he is a con shaman earning his living through providing fake psychic reading to an assortment of old rich ladies in New York City. Nonetheless, given the high demand for his services, he frequently travels to other cities on the Eastern seaboard such as Miami. Harry Erskine had been skeptical of the occult until his girlfriend Karen Tandy started complaining of a growing lump in her neck that she believed was a living being. Confronted with such dark forces, Erskine has to learn, and learn fast, to become a true mystic if he is to confront such deadly adversaries. Three of the series feature a recurrent character, a Manitou on a mission to exact revenge on the descendants of white men that had taken away Native American land. The other novels in the series are equally as gruesome as the first featuring unexplained dark forces that take over peoples’ houses, an epidemic that turns ordinary streetwalkers into bloodthirsty cannibals and blinds the US President, and a centuries old Djinn that seeking to unleash terror on the world.

The Harry Erskine series of novels is one of the best at repackaging the frequent theme of horror stories – Guilt Made Flesh. In these novels, the crime committed involves the killing of Native Americans and taking away of their land by European settler centuries ago. The crimes that were committed by the early settlers are now coming back to haunt their children in the form of a Manitou – spiritual bodies of the Native Algonquin peoples. In the Graham Masterton novels, the Manitou is Misquamacus, one of the most powerful Native American Medicine Men who ever lived, who makes his first appearance in The Manitou. Breaking from convention, an ancient Arabian genie is the main antagonist in the Djinn, the second novel of the series. The Harry Erskine series of novels has variously been described as one of the best fiction novels that you could ever read. Masterton creates a brilliant supernatural threat, lovable, memorable characters, and fantastic pacing, that provides an ever-increasing sense of dread. The novels provide some good descriptions where you just need them and are vague enough to leave you in suspense, which is what want from a horror novel. The antagonist Misquamacus is a frightening though vague figure that has the power to conjure the most frightening of North American demons. With such a formidable foe, you are left wondering if Harry Erskine and his sidekick could ever learn enough, to stop the fiend.

Unlike other horror novels in which the protagonist is always the underdog, the Harry Erskine takes a completely different slant. While Harry is initially a con artist and a self-taught psychic, over the course of the novels, he learns from the Singing Rock – another very powerful Medicine Man. By the end of the novel, Erskine becomes so powerful that in comparison, the threat and invincibility of Misquamacus seems to be on the wane. Nonetheless, credit to Masterton who manages to reinvent and repackage the Manitou and bring him stronger, by creating some kind of arms race between the protagonist and the antagonist. For instance, while Harry is now too strong to be intimidated by the Misquamacus, he finds it harder to expel him from the body of the young boy Toby, which he has taken over with the help of his friends, the strongest Manitous that ever lived. With such an impressive storyline, the first novel in the series, Manitou was made into a movie in 1978, starring Tony Curtis.

Manitou the first of the Harry Erskine series is also it’s the most popular. Harry Erskine, who has been conning rich old women with fake psychic readings suddenly has to confront the real thing. His girlfriend, Karen Tandy reports strange dreams that grow darker and more disturbing in tandem with a fast growing tumor on her neck. When doctors declare that the tumor is a living being, everything changes not only for Harry and Karen, but also for all humankind. Something horrible that had been confined for several hundred years was coming back – a Native American monster that is hell bent on destroying the white race that had preyed and oppressed American Indians. It is up to Harry and Singing Rock and their motley crew of ill-equipped defenders to harness the powers of an almost forgotten native magic, if they are to survive the terror. Nonetheless, nothing they can do will stop the rebirth of the malevolent shaman, or the carnage that is sure to follow.

The publication of the master class, The Manitou instantly propelled Graham Masterton to one of the horror genre’s elite writers. It comes with supernatural shocks, unrelenting creepiness, bold originality and a multitude of surprises that would make the giants such as Lovecraft proud. The novel is a classic in the mold of great horrors such as the Ghost Story by Peter Straub or Stephen King’s Carrie.

Another classic novel in the Harry Erskine series is the odd one out The Djinn. Known as an author that likes to experiment, Masterton made an Arabian genie the chief antagonist in the story, rather than a Manitou. The clairvoyant Harry Erskine ignores the rules of propriety and asks out the beautiful and mysterious Anna to a date at his grandfather’s wake. Marjorie Grieves, his Godmother tells them that the recently deceased man had been behaving very strangely and had a strange jar locked away in the turret. Harry, Anna, and Max offer to investigate and find out what is inside the jar for her. In their investigations, they find out that the jar contained one of the most potent genies that had been in existence since the ancient Persian Empire. It gets worse when they learn that, there is an unexpected enemy of humankind hell-bent on cracking open the jar to release the malevolent force on the world. Now more than ever, Harry Erskine must learn fast the ancient ways to prevent the Djinn from ever leaving that jar, and time is running out. He enlists the help of Djin expert Professoor Qualt,his girlfriend Ann, but will they stop the Djinn before it is too late?

The runaway success of the Djinn further established Masterton’s name as one of the foremost names in the horror genre. His expertise in experimenting with a new cultural phenomenon and making it a success is a testament to the talents of one of the greatest horror writers of our time.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Harry Erskine

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