Psycho House

Robert Bloch, Author Tor Books $16.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-312-93217-6
Bloch's latest horror story is a disappointing effort, despite his attempt to exploit the character of Norman Bates of Psycho fame. Having decided to write a book about Bates, Amy Haines travels to Fairvale for material. She arrives in the wake of a young girl's knife-murder at the ``Psycho House,'' a tourist trap re-creation of both the infamous Bates Motel and ``mother's house.'' The murder serendipitously provides an angle for Amy, who has been casting about for a theme for her book. Enlisting the help of a demonologist, a newspaper publisher and a psychiatrist, Amy starts snooping around the once-sleepy community. Predictably, the townsfolk, including the sheriff, do not appreciate the intrusion. After several other victims are attacked with a knife and the tires of Amy's car are slashed, she is convinced that the murderer is closing in on her. But Amy's sleuthing has no real focus beyond her determination to find the killer, so we simply follow her around and wait for something to happen. Though Bloch provides all the elements of a horror story, they fail to coalesce into a truly frightening yarn. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-0919-9
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