(Posted on Spicy Green Iguana Website February 5th, 2000)
Dynasty: Courting Evil
Barry H. Smith
Erica House www.ericahouse.com
Trade Paperback 1999 315pp $15.00
This was within my eyesight every day for 90
days before I had a
chance to review it. Perched next to my printer with a pile of
magazines and other books, it somehow entered my mind at some point
in my daily routines. Better review it Matt, time’s wasting. Read me or
I will haunt you . . . Finally, its turn arrived. Oh, how I thought I would
not like this book! It’s fantasy. It speaks of demons and sacrifices.
But I must admit, Twilight Dynasty held my
interest and forced me to read it in almost a single
sitting. Five hours straight! It was that good . . . it opened my eyes to dark fantasy and
initiated me properly. Not to mention that the book was an oversized paperback that allowed
me enough room to read without fear of breaking the spine (which is a major peeve of mine).
The foreboding cover didn’t hurt either.
Twilight Dynasty is about a man named Kyle
and his past life regressions. In the present, he
must battle contemporary foes in order to protect his niece, and ultimately, the world. With
the aid of a psychic, Kyle learns who his dark demon is and discovers it is none other than one
of the most respected and powerful men in Canada. Barry H. Smith has done an excellent job
in revealing the plot layer by layer at the appropriate time. His supernatural tale is a definite
thriller and should not be missed.
Aside from the occasional awkward sentence
structure and stilted dialogue, I would give
Twilight Dynasty a definite thumbs-up (with smile).
Arts & Entertainment
Lawyer hopes new book thrills readers
By DAVE MILNE Staff Writer
(To left) Scarborough author Barry Smith displays his recently published novel 'Twilight Dynasty: Courting Evil'. Mirror photo/ DAN PEARCE
When Barry Smith dusted
off - but then cast away - an old novel he started writing but never finished
years ago, it was probably the best literary move he ever made.
With a fresh start and a new frame of mind, the Scarborough lawyer spent evenings, weekends and holidays over about six months doggedly pounding out a completely new work. His first published book now graces the shelves of his Finch Avenue East office.
'Twilight Dynasty: Courting Evil', was released by Baltimore Md.-based Erica House Publishers late last year, and will land in Canadian bookstores in the coming months.
A supernatural thriller set in the Toronto and Muskoka areas, the book is about a city lawyer who gets drawn into a mystery after his teenage niece flees a mysterious horror in Algonquin Park. Linking up with a psychic, the hero delves into the mystery, one that threatens both him and his very way of life.
"I was really surprised," Smith said of his publishing success. "Everything I had ever read about publishing talks about the rejection slips; Nice rejection slips that say, 'Maybe you should change this or that, or maybe you should write something different'... It really was surprising."
According to Smith, who has been writing for most of his adult life, he initially started a fantasy novel about the famed lost city of Atlantis some 15 years ago.
But with his budding law practice demanding most of his time and attention, the book was put aside.
He eventually got it back out again, but something about it just didn't feel right to him, he said.
"It was good, but it just wasn't me anymore," Smith said. "My life had changed so much since then, I thought, 'the heck with this'."
A fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, Smith said 'Twilight Dynasty' explores ideas like reincarnation and past life regression, but remains, in its most basic sense, a fantasy thriller set in real locations. Born in Toronto and raised in Scarborough, Smith said he and his family often vacation in the Muskokas during the summer.
The book has made the rounds through Smith's friends, clients and fellow Rotary Club members.
"I haven't had a negative comment," he said.
"The first week I think they're wondering if I should see a psychiatrist. But generally, when they're finished, they're satisfied."
But despite the obvious similarities, Smith maintains he is no John Grisham, the American lawyer who has churned out a number of best-sellers. Smith has another novel about 80 per cent complete, but said his writing will likely remain a hobby.
"I've got my feet planted firmly on the ground," Smith said. "I'm not giving up my practice. I love law."