When he finds the butchered remains of a wandering gypsy at the site of an abandoned church in the English town of Kentside, planning officer and architectural authority Arnold Landon suspects homicidal Ranging Wolf cult. Bureaucrat cum sleuth, Landon (from Men of Subtle Craft ) has received veiled threats from members of the devil-worshiping sect and learns that the group has a penchant for blood sacrifice. When he shares his suspicions with the police, however, they label him deranged. When a second, equally grisly murder implicates a noncult suspect, the authorities ascribe the homicides to a heated territorial dispute. After Landon falls prey to a vicious attack by an unknown assailant, he realizes that the killings may be the product of a deranged mind. And he soon discovers that many people in this small academic community are willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of their careers. Beginning slowly with lengthy background material on medieval religious cults and with detailed characterizations, this intelligent, nicely textured mystery gathers speed and races to a thrilling conclusion. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990 Release date: 01/01/1990 Genre:
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