Old Black Magic

Jake Barnes, Author, Jake Tanner, Author, Wilson Henley, Editor Crown Publishers $18 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57676-2
With an agreeable, medium-boiled tone, this first entry in a projected series features ex-CIA agent B. F. Hopper, who is called on for help by a friend in the Boulder, Colo., police when a member of a Buddhist sangha (congregation) is killed and brutally mutilated. Then another member is killed and differently disfigured. Just after Hopper realizes that a key may lie in the Buddhist chakras (energy centers), the nastiness threatens his new lover. On the trail of a satanic cult, Hopper is aided by old mentor (and deus ex machina) Stryker Stephens and by the super-rich father of the first victim. The climactic scene amid the satanists is a bit pat but the procedural elements are well handled and the killer is chillingly deranged. With the weltschmerz kept under control, Hopper could become an admirable hero-narrator. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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