The website of John Waterhouse


Vril Cover [4117639]
Following two bizarre deaths bearing the hallmarks of sacrificial murder, a freelance journalist called Steve Chapman tries to acquire inside information on occult groups active in the North of England. A young woman of gothic appearance called Bobby contacts Steve, claiming extensive involvement with a satanic society. However, she is only prepared to reveal all she knows if he agrees to a clandestine meeting in Germany’s Black Forest. After only two days in this idyllic setting, during which Steve greatly expands his occult knowledge, Bobby suddenly drives her car deep into the woods and kills herself in a horrific inferno.

Having been left an obscure suicide note, Steve is coming to terms with what happened back in his home-town of Manchester when he is contacted by a priest who claims to have known Bobby. It transpires that Bobby was more deeply involved in the occult than Steve had realised. Unbeknownst to him the priest is actually an undercover member of a dark society called the Vril, operating out of a mansion on the Yorkshire moors. He was sent to investigate Steve following the publicity about Bobby’s death.

To his initial horror, Steve receives two text messages from Bobby. Somehow she did not die but is now in Scotland and wants him to meet her again, this time near the former home of the notorious Satanist, Alistair Crowley. There, Bobby reveals that she faked her own death with a stolen corpse in order to dupe the organisation she belonged to. Steve is invited to join in a quest to break a diabolical plan that this cabal is trying to realize but before he can make a decision, the couple are spotted by Bobby’s adversaries and make a hurried flight to Denmark from Aberdeen. Steve wonders if Bobby had planned the escape all along because – following a day’s drive from Copenhagen – Bobby has friends in the Polish city of Wroclaw who are committed to her cause.

It becomes clear to Steve that the conflict in which he is now involved is both spiritual and physical as Jan, a Polish priest, inducts him into the nature of their enemy. Steve and Bobby head south, close to the Czech border, to investigate rumours of a possible base located in tunnels originally built for Hitler’s secret weapons projects. The entrance to old escape stairway is found amongst trees on a hillside, providing an entrance to the tunnel complex. A secret base is discovered but Bobby is captured, with Steve only getting out through an element of luck. Back in Wroclaw, Steve meets back with Jan to look at how they can get Bobby back.

In the underground base, Bobby is confronted with Charles Swift, an occultist whose vast wealth has enabled to build both the base in the tunnels and develop the mansion in Yorkshire for his sinister purposes. Swift decides he can make use of Bobby, even though she had tried to escape his clutches, believing that her capture demonstrates his occult powers over her. Swift has been working for years on a plan that involves occupying the right physical locations, finding people of suitable spiritual aura and developing his own satanic power to bring about the recreation of a demonic race dormant for thousands of years. Somehow, Steve and Bobby have to stop him before it is too late.