One of Lymington’s better efforts. This is one is more suited for horror fans than SF. A short story writer conjured up a called called “The Night Spiders” a few months ago. He wrote down the idea in his diary. Now it looks like it might be coming true.
Out in the countryside in a small English village Richard Chance, a surveyor and amateur short story writer, lives with his wife Jennifer. Their son is away at school. Ellen is their housekeeper. One morning Jennifer sees a huge crowd of people off in the distance staring at the house. Richard wakes up and can’t remember where he was last night.
Jennifer tells him to get out there and find out what’s going on. After a lot of hesitation he goes out and sneaks a look. He envisions the crowd all turning to skeletons. That makes him get back inside. The local cop, Porch, isn’t much help. Richard has had it and charges back outside. The crowd runs off and then stops when he stops.
Ellen is cleaning the house and keeps finding dead spiders. To add to the problems, Jennifer is jealous of pub owner Barbara Baynes. Her husband took off and now she runs the place. She thinks Barbara and Richard are fooling around. Porch doesn’t help when he says Richard was seen walking with her last night. Now she’s missing.
Richard finally calms Jennifer down and they sit to have some tea. he tells her there’s a can opener in a huge cupboard. What she finds is a naked Barbara. She swears she doesn’t know how she got there.
Stopping by is newspaper reporter Geoffrey Hayles. He says Richard phoned the paper last night with a story about tiny capsules falling from the sky. A Government man named Griswold comes to the house and interviews everyone. Just maybe Richard traveled to the future, in this case the next night, made the call and now everyone is waiting since the paper printed the story. They did make a retraction in a later edition but no one has it yet. Could all this have to do with dead spiders now being found everywhere?
A lot better than the other Lymington books that dealt with horrors in small villages and the madness of the residents.