Entombed is the story of a failed Jesuit priest called Simon Rankin. Simon has seen a lot of failure in his life, including his marriage. His wife has left him and taken their two children with her. They have a new daddy now. One with loads of cash. Simon doesn’t have loads of cash. In fact he doesn’t have any cash at all; all he has are debt collectors and bailiffs at his door. His wife has left him for another man, yet the courts, in their wisdom, have seen fit to make sure that Simon, who has nothing, is liable to support his children entirely. This isn’t easy when his wife sees fit to take them on holidays, staying in the most expensive hotels, and sending the bill to him.
We can add another failure to Simon’s list when he fails to exorcise an evil force that is dwelling in a haunted house. This failure, in the first chapter, is the last straw and it doesn’t take long before Simon flees to the Welsh Village of Cwmgilla and rents a cottage with his new girlfriend. Unfortunately the evil that he finds in Cwmgilla is worse than any he has ever faced before.
Entombed is 191 pages long and I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy reading it as much as I had expected to. I did not really care that much for the main character Simon Rankin, so found it hard to sympathise with his situation. He was also a bit to godly for my liking. But when the character is a priest I suppose he has to be godly. The only strong emotion that Entombed brought out in me was anger. I really did not like Simon’s wife and what she had done to him (we are talking Grade ‘A’ bitch here folks). I also felt angry when the story changed to the children’s viewpoint (Grade ‘A’ bitch and then some).
Overall it was the mystery aspect that kept me reading. I wanted to know what this dark force was that was at work in the village and nearby slate mines. Entombed has a good plot and it is well written. It was just the characters that failed to catch my interest and make me care a hoot about what did or didn’t happen to them. I guess what I am saying is it didn’t work for me; but we are all different, and another reader might enjoy Entombed a lot more than I did. This is the first time that one of Mr Smith’s stories has failed to delight me though, so I still plan on reading a lot more of his work.