Kiss of Death

Daniel Rhodes, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-312-04357-5
The many good moments in this tale of witchery by the author of Adversary are undone by its silly, unsatisfying ending. In 1966, recently divorced California vintner Donald Clermont, in France with his teenage daughter Lisa, visits an abandoned abbey with a history of withcraft, blood oaths, succubi and incubi. On a whim, he inscribes a runic symbol on a rock with his own blood. That night, after Clermont has slept with a beautiful stranger, Lisa is apparently raped. At first Clermont puts it down as a nightmare but Lisa is pregnant; she dies giving birth to Selena, and Clermont kills himself. In 1988 Selena returns from Europe to the family winery and takes up with a pedophiliac dentist and a vicious biker, both of whom die horribly as suicides. Young doctor Gene Farrell is smitten, but Selena warns him away, opposing her satanic ``companions.'' Farrell, threatened by nightmares, bones up on sorcery and decides to resort to murder, leading to the brief, disappointing showdown and unconvincing epilogue. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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