“Caracal” is a thriller novel by Guy N. Smith, published in 1980. Unlike many of his other works, which typically fall within the horror genre, “Caracal” is a departure for Smith, focusing more on suspense and action.

Plot Summary

“Journey to the Promised Land” delves into the harsh realities faced by Bilal, a hopeful young Pakistani whose dreams of a better life in Britain are swiftly shattered by the sinister undercurrents of exploitation and betrayal. As he innocently signs official documents, unaware of the traps laid before him, he unwittingly plunges into a world where he becomes little more than cheap labor, discarded and hunted by authorities as an illegal immigrant.

Amidst this turmoil, another drama unfolds with the presence of Bilal’s beloved pet caracal, a wild cat from his homeland. In the vast expanse of the Welsh border hills, the once-tamed creature reverts to its primal instincts, a stark reminder of nature’s untamed force. As it roams freely, its encounters with local livestock escalate into a perilous game of survival. With each sheep and pheasant it claims, the stakes grow higher, and the specter of human prey looms ominously on the horizon.

“Journey to the Promised Land” paints a gripping portrait of individuals ensnared by circumstances beyond their control, weaving a narrative that explores the complexities of migration, exploitation, and the clash between civilisation and the wild. Through Bilal’s plight and the untamed spirit of his caracal, the film prompts reflection on the price of dreams and the unforeseen consequences of crossing borders, both physical and metaphorical.

Themes and Style

  • Survival and Adventure: The primary theme of the novel is survival, as the characters must navigate the dangers of the African wilderness while evading their relentless pursuers.
  • Man vs. Nature: The African landscape serves as both a majestic backdrop and a hostile environment, testing the characters’ resilience and resourcefulness.
  • Moral Ambiguity: The novel explores themes of morality and justice, as the characters are forced to confront difficult decisions and the consequences of their actions in the face of extreme circumstances.


“Caracal” received mixed reviews from readers and critics. While some praised the novel for its fast-paced action, suspenseful plot, and vivid descriptions of the African wilderness, others found fault with the characterization and pacing. As a departure from Smith’s usual horror fare, “Caracal” may have divided fans of his work, but it remains a notable entry in his bibliography.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a prolific British author known primarily for his horror fiction. With over 100 novels to his name, Smith’s works often feature elements of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque. He is best known for his “Crabs” series, which involves giant killer crabs terrorizing humanity. Smith’s ability to craft gripping and eerie stories has earned him a dedicated following among horror enthusiasts.


“Caracal” stands as a unique entry in Guy N. Smith’s body of work, showcasing his versatility as a writer outside of the horror genre. While it may not have achieved the same level of recognition as some of his horror novels, “Caracal” offers readers a thrilling and action-packed adventure set against the backdrop of the African wilderness.

Overall, “Caracal” is a compelling tale of survival and suspense that demonstrates Smith’s skill in crafting gripping narratives across different genres. Whether readers are fans of horror or thrillers, “Caracal” provides an exhilarating journey into the heart of danger and intrigue.