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The Third Grave by David Case

The Third Grave (1981)

by David Case

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402443,009 (3.88)None
When Thomas Ashley is invited to accompany the archaeological expedition of Sir Harold Gregory, he travels beyond the Great Cataract to enter a realm of endless sand, windswept cliffs, and the Egypt of the pharaohs. The expedition is visited by a mysterious intruder, Lucian Mallory, who lures the young scholar to his residence in England, where Ashley learns that his host is seeking ancient Egyptian secrets of resurrection and immortality.With the beautiful Arabella Cunningham, Ashley strives to use this arcane knowledge to redeem the life of a present-day man but then encounters the ultimate horror in a curse that comes down the ages to haunt the modern world.… (more)



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After listening to David Case's The Third Grave, I was a little surprised to find that it was written in 1981; Case writes and creates an atmosphere that feels as if the story were written much earlier in the century, which is a good thing. There is a definite feel of antiquity to the story that lends itself perfectly to what at first feels like a typical mummy-themed adventure but what quickly turns into something more akin to Frankenstein and the accompanying horrors that can be done to a human body.

Thomas Ashley, an archaeologist, is invited to the home of a passing acquaintance he met in the dessert once, Lucian Mallory. Mallory claims to have discovered some ancient Egyptian scrolls and needs Ashely's expertise to translate them. Unable to resist the chance to work on this new discover, Ashley travels to Mallory's home where he is immediately and inadvertently thrust into a bizarre case of murder; someone, or something, has committed grisly murders in the quiet little town and some think that newcomer Mallory may have something to do with it. What follows is a fast-paced exploration of what it means for the characters to be human and what it means for them to have a soul, while simultaneously trying solve the mystery of the murders going on in town.

Guy Bethell's narration is really quite good, even if his voice is a little bit on the gravely side sometimes and hard to follow. He captures the essence of the characters and really keeps the story moving along thru his narration.

Overall, if you are a fan of a good mummy story, or a fan of Frankenstein, or just enjoy a good tale of the classic supernatural with a modern flair, David Case's The Third Grave is for you.

I'd like to thank Valancourt Books for providing an Audible download of The Third Grave for review. ( )
  tapestry100 | Dec 20, 2019 |
scary stuff! Only 184 pages, but they are of the very old classic type of horror...the kind that more builds in your mind rather than in the gory details present in modern horror fiction. The Third Grave was written in 1981, but still preserves the type of horror writing of older days. I like my horror cerebral rather than filled with gore so this one was perfect.

The book begins in Egypt, on an archaeological dig, where Thomas Ashley is working with Sir Harold Gregory. Ashley is an expert on hieroglyphics and this is what he is doing on the dig. One day, Sir Harold and Thomas receive a strange visitor, one Lucian Mallory. He stays only a short time, and sneers at the archaeological work before moving on. Some years later, when Thomas was at home and doing some independent translations, he receives a letter from Lucian Mallory, who tells him of an opportunity for Thomas to view some previously untranslated hieroglyphs on papyrus scrolls taken from a necropolis in Egypt. Thomas, always interested in discovering something as yet untranslated, decides to take Lucian up on his offer, and leaves his home for a place called Farriers Bar in Devonshire where Mallory is to meet him. When he arrives, there is no Mallory, but there have been two murders. He is questioned by the police, and eventually Mallory appears to take him to his home. When Thomas arrives and begins to work on the translation, he hears a horrifying account of Mallory's life work - but may never live to tell the tale.

Very cool, very fun and a chilling story. This one stays in my collection of books from Arkham House; if you want a good creepy story to read by a blazing fire, this may be the one. ( )
1 vote bcquinnsmom | May 11, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Caseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fabian, Stephen E.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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