Thursday, November 7, 2013


by Ehren M Ehly
1988 Leisure Books

An American steals a bracelet from an Egyptian tomb and is possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian priest.  The first half reads like a werewolf story - the thief blacks out and is only vaguely aware of the horrors that his body has committed.

The second half gets bogged down in elaborate back stories of minor characters.  The home lives of both the mayor of New York and an Egyptian ambassador are explored with no particular reason.  A call girl is killed (off page, mind you), and we're treated to the back story of her madam and her madam's assistant.

A little of this is good writing, but most of the book goes on like this, with most of the killings occurring completely off page.  And it's not as if the book was going for a G rating.  When there is an on page killing, it's all head crushing, genital ripping, and marrow slurping.

There's a bare skeleton of plot to support the murders and tepid backdrop: a Scotland Yard detective is tracking down the killer via his pregnant girlfriend, who had been brutally attacked and raped.  Off page?  You bet.

We get the eating habits and home life of half the police force of New York, but the limey gets in an ounce of action when he helps the girlfriend ditch her police protection to confront her possessed boyfriend.

Why does a detective make a pregnant women run through the streets of New York to face a violent serial killer, who has attacked her once already?  So she can get over him and the detective can make his move.  Yes, the detective (who's near retirement age) wants to hit it with a rape victim in a case he's working on and endangers her life.  Classy.
She ends up OK, as the books ends abruptly with the possessed psycho just kind of falling over, presumably as part of a ritual suicide.  But wait, there's a chilling coda!  The pregnant woman?  She's pregnant!  She's pregnant!

Yeah, just kind of ends there, but you've seen Rosemary's Baby and the Children, you know that's enough.

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