The Shoggoth Conspiracy (The Harrison Peel Omnibus Book 1) by (ebook review).

Cthulhu Mythos is a genre largely attributable to HP Lovecraft. In the early 20th century, his stories told of cosmic horrors that exist in the universe, entities to whom man is a complete irrelevance, with death and destruction a normal consequence of our contact with them. Many other writers have followed the trend over the years and, more recently, the Australian author David Conyers has penned quite a few stories in this genre. It must be said, however, that he doesn’t exclusively write Cthulhu Mythos and has written more mainstream Science Fiction as well.


When reflecting on the subject, it comes to mind that even we humans are a part of the cosmic horrors. For example, consider the ecology and lives of animals that live on the bottom of the sea only to have their complete world destroyed when trawlers drag their nets? To us, their lives are but an irrelevance and we throw back what we do not eat but if somebody or something did that to us, we would be completely appalled. Basically, the Cthulhu Mythos encompasses all life everywhere in the universe and we shouldn’t be surprised if some of that life when it visits Earth treats us with no more compassion than we do for a crawling creature on the bottom of the sea.

David Conyers employs the character of Harrison Peel to take us into this weird universe. No stranger to cosmic horror, this guy Peel from Australia uses his army intelligence officer experience to fight the entities that threaten mankind from beyond the dimensions but he also fights against the corrupt human forces that are captivated, enslaved or controlled by them. He lives a stressful life where death is commonplace and where danger haunts his every move.

When thinking about the name, Harrison Peel, you think about Harrison Ford and his Indiana Jones character. You also think about Robert Peel and the first British police force. Maybe Harrison Peel is an Indiana Jones policeman character but that’s probably conjecture! However, it could be a good description of the guy.

‘The Shoggoth Conspiracy’ contains eleven Harrison Peel stories. They are a continuation of a theme, some with linked events, taking us all over the world to exotic locations and also to other worlds and dimensions some of which are nightmare versions of hell.

A story called ‘The Impossible Object’ tells of a thing, for want of a better word, which has appeared from another dimension. It manifests itself in different shapes and forms and nobody can give an accurate description of what it is. Some see it and go completely mad, unable to recover and usually end up dead. Would Harrison Peel get through to the root of the problem or end up mad himself?

‘The Spiralling Worm’, written in conjunction with John Sunseri, take us to the heart of Africa in a story with some basic similarities to that of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart Of Darkness’. Peel makes a journey with others to find what is behind cosmic atrocities taking place deep in the jungle. People are alive but should be dead, such are the extent of their injuries, but what awaits them at the source, where people have become captivated slaves of the horror, is many times worse.

‘The Road To Afghanistan’ sees Harrison Peel get involved in a skirmish with the Taleban and Al Qaeda, the latter having captured a creature from another dimension which eats grenades. Held by chains and kept secure in a vehicle, it swallows live bombs and nothing happens, but when the beast is ruptured the entire collection of explosive power is released making it an ideal terrorist weapon.

‘The Eye Of Infinity’ transports Harrison Peel to a strange nightmarish dimension where the Shoggoth monsters await them. It begins in the outback of Australia where operators of a radio telescope become hideously transformed into revolting creatures with no hope of survival. Peel has to find out who is behind this travesty and ends up searching for and finding the man without morals responsible for this outrage. The author’s description of the Shoggoths will make you squirm. This is definitely one of the best features in the collection.

The stories are what could be termed, page-turners with plenty of action, intrigue, mystery and excitement. Some descriptions maybe not for the faint-hearted, they take us to the horrors that lie underneath the fabric of society. Harrison Peel isn’t a two-dimensional figure, he is solid and robust with a mind of his own and, despite experiencing a world of deception, his ethics, which are on the right side of being good, keep him with the reader throughout. These are stories to enjoy and they are definitely recommended.

Rod MacDonald

December 2014

(pub: Amazon Kindle. 540 page ebook. Price: £ 4.95 (UK)

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