Night of the Crabs is the first book in Guy N. Smith's "Crabs" series. It was followed by numerous sequels and even a prequel. It tells the story of the world under attack by gigantic killer crabs from the sea. Recently divorced Pat Benson meets marine biologist Professor Cliff Davenport, who has come to the remote Shell Island off the coast of Wales to search for his missing nephew Ian and Ian's fiancée Julie. The two had gone for a swim and promptly disappeared. It turns out, of course, that giant killer crabs are to blame!
Tropes used in this novel:
- The Ace: Cliff Davenport.
- The Alcoholic: Colonel Goode, the military officer assigned to destroy the crabs.
- Closed Circle: Shell Island, being an island and all.
- Giant Enemy Crab: This is basically "Giant Enemy Crab: The Novel."
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Colonel Goode's default reaction.
- Immune to Bullets: The crabs. Their hard shells make them impervious to regular small arms fire. And pretty much everything else, too.
- King Mook: The aptly-named "King Crab," the largest of the already gigantic crabs. His smaller brethren are no slouches, but he's the biggest.
- Lack of Empathy: Goode. Of the missing swimmers, he sneers, "People want to learn to swim before they start buggering about in the water. Bring back conscription, I say. Teach 'em all to swim!"
- Mildly Military: Goode would rather spend his time getting drunk than commanding his troops.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The military on the island, and Colonel Goode in particular. Despite being personally assigned to assist Cliff in destroying the crabs by a knighted member of Whitehall, he doesn't believe the crabs exist and actually hampers the mission more than assists it.
- Red Herring: The military. At first it seems as though they may be responsible for the crabs, but it turns out they're just concerned Cliff and Pat are spies sent to find out about their top secret experimental pilotless plane.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: When Cliff is captured by the military and suspected of spying, it turns out he's on good terms with a Sir Ronald Bradley at Whitehall. If he were a regular civilian without a direct line to a knighted politician, he'd probably be in big trouble.
- Tanks, but No Tanks: The crabs are (of course!) impervious to direct fire from tanks.
- The X of Y: "Night of the Crabs."