Dillard ( The Lost Years ) made a name for herself writing mediocre Star Trek novels, and she has now produced a mediocre horror novel. Specters has reasonably interesting characters (Dillard's strong suit), but the plot is so predictable that however much one likes and admires the tale's victims, it is impossible to work up much sympathy (or shock) when they are shot, stabbed, drugged or beaten. The story involves a serial killer, Rolf Brunerp. 211 , whose murder of his lover leaves an indelible impression on the dead woman's five-year-old twin daughters, Avra and Magdalen. As for Rolf, he has a thing for young girls (his being caught with Avra was the occasion of the fight leading to their mother's death), and when the twins cross his path again 25 years later, the past comes terrifyingly alive. Dillard plays around with point of view by presenting events from the perspective of both victim and perpetrator, and by jumping back and forth between the present and Bruner's childhood. But there is nothing here to snag and sustain a reader's attention: neither the visceral thrill of a good work of horror, nor the human interest of plausible, complex characters. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991 Release date: 04/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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