“Mania” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, published in 1981. It is one of Smith’s many works in the horror genre, known for its blend of suspense, action, and gruesome imagery.

Plot Summary

Suzannah Mitchell and her daughter Rosie find themselves stranded in a wintry nightmare as they journey to a rehearsal, their path intersecting with that of book dealer Owain Pugh, similarly ensnared by the snow’s icy grip. Seeking refuge from the storm, they stumble upon the eerie Donnington Country House Hotel, a former nursing home now presided over by the enigmatic George and Brenda Clements. Yet, beneath its facade of hospitality lies a realm of madness and malevolence, where guests teeter on the brink of sanity and secrets fester like wounds in the dark.

Amidst the frost-laden halls of the hotel, a sinister plot unfolds—one of virgin births and unholy pacts with a dark entity known only as “the Master.” Alison, one of the guests, finds herself chosen to bear the reincarnation of the Clements’ deceased daughter, a chilling prospect steeped in sacrificial rites and unspeakable horrors. As the sinister machinations of the Master threaten to engulf them all, Suzannah, Owain, and Rosie find themselves trapped in a web of deceit and despair, their very lives hanging in the balance.

While the story takes its time to unfurl its twisted tapestry of terror, once its dark heart is revealed, it becomes a delightfully macabre journey into the depths of the human psyche. Eschewing gratuitous gore in favor of a more subtle brand of horror, Guy N. Smith deftly navigates the murky waters of taste, pushing the boundaries of the genre with gleeful abandon. And with a cast of carefully curated characters, each serving as a pawn in the Master’s diabolical game, the narrative avoids the pitfalls of excess, focusing instead on the intimate terror of a handful of souls trapped in a house of horrors.

For those with a taste for the macabre and a penchant for the delightfully twisted, “The Devil’s Child” promises a chilling ride through the darkest recesses of the human imagination. So if you’re in the mood for a tale of suspense and supernatural intrigue, look no further—this spine-tingling thriller is sure to leave you breathless with anticipation until the very last page.

Themes and Style

  • Psychological Horror: “Mania” explores themes of madness and paranoia, with the protagonist’s descent into madness mirroring the actions of the killer.
  • Suspense and Mystery: The novel is characterized by its suspenseful plot and mystery, as the protagonist races against time to uncover the truth behind the killings.
  • Gruesome Imagery: Smith employs vivid and graphic imagery to depict the brutal murders committed by the killer, heightening the sense of horror and revulsion experienced by the characters and readers alike.


“Mania” received generally positive reviews from readers and critics, who praised its atmospheric setting, gripping plot, and memorable characters. The novel’s blend of horror and psychological suspense resonated with audiences, making it a standout entry in Smith’s bibliography.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a British author known primarily for his horror fiction. With over 100 novels to his name, Smith’s works often featured elements of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque. He gained widespread recognition for his ability to create thrilling and suspenseful horror narratives.


“Mania” remains a classic example of Guy N. Smith’s talent for crafting chilling and atmospheric horror stories. While it may not be as well-known as some of his other works, it offers readers a compelling exploration of madness and terror, showcasing Smith’s ability to create suspenseful and unsettling storytelling.