Morningstar

P. W. Atkins, Author Stealth Press $24.95 (244p) ISBN 978-1-58881-000-7
Atkins's background as a writer of artistic splatter movies--he worked on the first Wishmaster film and three Hellraiser films--is obvious in this fast-paced but disjointed horror-suspense novel, first published in the U.K. in 1992 and now receiving its U.S. debut as the launch title for Stealth Press. A serial killer who signs the word Morningstar in the blood of his decapitated victims is stalking the streets of San Francisco. Donovan Moon, a flat-broke freelance journalist, gets a tip from a friend that Morningstar's crimes are marked by one other notable detail: his victims are all staked through the heart, killed as legend says vampires must be slain. A fortuitous phone call takes Moon to the penthouse apartment of Jonathan Frost, highly respected real estate developer--who also claims to be Morningstar, aka Matador (the Spanish for ""slayer""). Frost dreams of a hunter on his trail, and fears he will not survive their meeting. He offers Moon $50,000 to write his life story if he dies. Overall, the text reads more like a film outline than a novel, but Atkins knows how to tell a story and keeps this one thrumming with tension. Devotees of dark suspense will find it to their liking, and it's a good bet for the big screen. (Nov.) FYI: Stealth Press, which launched on November 1, offers high-quality bound books sold direct from publisher to reader on the Web. Other November 2000 Stealth releases include reprints of Peter Straub's Under Venus, Robert Vaughan's The Valkyrie Mandate and Robert H. Fowler's Jim Mundy.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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