Nine Levels Down

William R. Dantz, Author Forge $21.95 (283p) ISBN 978-0-312-85483-6
Clinical psychiatrist Anna Kane has developed a tiny implant that can detect psychopathic rage in its wearer and then deliver a knockout electrical charge. Chief among the six convicted killers on whom she tests the device is John Marlon, convicted of abducting, torturing and killing two women in the New York subway system, where he worked as a tunnel engineer. Meanwhile, NYPD Detective Kevin McRay remains convinced that Marlon--a terrifically scary villain, cool and manipulative--has more victims stashed in his ``Doll House,'' hidden somewhere within the city's vast subway and sewer systems. Eventually, Marlon escapes, snatches Anna as his hostage and heads underground. McRay, who's become emotionally involved with the psychiatrist, follows into the gloom and stink of subterranean New York for a suspenseful and grisly stalk-and-chase. What follows never quite attains the hoped-for pitch of terror, and the Grand Guignol ending, which relies on the subway's infamous electrified third rail, is sabotaged by Dantz's overlooking the fact that power in the subways is always shut off during police activity. Still, the story never sags and the local color is stunningly creepy. Dantz (Hunger) knows how to spin a captivating tale. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56431-133-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 312 pages - 978-0-8125-2416-1
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