Next, After Lucifer

Daniel Rhodes, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (258p) ISBN 978-0-312-00567-2
This neatly crafted first novel should afford some fine chills for hot summer days. A luxurious villa in Provence commands a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean and of a ruined mountain fortress. The villa has remained oddly uninhabited until the arrival of medievalist professor John McTell and his young, bossy wife Linden. With their American dollars, they illegally divert water to their swimming pool from an ancient woodland spring. But the spring has been washing over the unhallowed bones of a Templar knight, condemned for his bloody atrocities and burned at the fortress in 1307. His unleashed spirit of sheer evil now rises again to infect the Americans, their guests and the French villagers in this psychological thriller of the supernatural and the uncanny. McTell, especially, becomes imbued with the Templar's malevolent powers. The tale switches back and forth between the pleasure-seeking Americans and the more sympathetic villagers, who are steeped in their own nightmares. Notable among them are the housewife Melusine, gifted with second sight, the young and lovely Alysse and the heroically appealing priest Etien. The horrors that seize all these well-drawn characters are bizarrely suited to their individual flaws and fears. (July 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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