Possession

Peter James, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-24705-4
This mediocre horror thriller is British writer James's fourth novel, but the first to be published in this country. When divorcee Alex Hightower's 20-year-old son Fabian is killed in an auto accident, strange things begin to happen, and Alex comes to believe the boy is trying to make contact with her. Thoroughly shaken, she does some investigating and learns that Fabian was not the charming adolescent she had believed him to be. In fact, he may have murdered an ex-girlfriend. A seance with a psychic only confirms Alex's fears that Fabian's angry spirit wants to return, with her help. Events build to an explosion of violence and death, but just when Alex feels free, there is a final horrifying development. Unfortunately, James relies on repetitious, stale effects: rooms grow cold rapidly, friends and strangers whisper in sinister tones, ``He wants to come back.'' We are often told that Alex is frightened, but the writing is so mechanical that the reader rarely feels anything but irritation. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Hardcover - 373 pages - 978-0-8161-4737-3
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