Black Ashes

Noel Scanlon, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (222p) ISBN 978-0-312-08300-7
Neither Bob Roberts nor his family relishes his transfer to Ranpur, India, after the bank manager there, Johnny Johnson, commits suicide. Johnson has left financial chaos in the bank and a malevolent spirit in Bank House, under whose evil influence Bob, his wife and daughter quickly fall. The spirit, a form-changing swami who is the reincarnation of the demon-god Ravana, uses mind-control, sexual fantasy and random external disturbances as the manifestations of its power. Drug-taking, promiscuous hippies, taciturn house-help and wheedling merchants also figure in its bid for control of the city. The characters' names may indicate the modest creative imagination at work in this formless, untroubling horror tale. The most sympathetic character is a bank secretary who stands by and watches, in tears. Scanlon also wrote Apparitions and Quinn. February
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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