The Five Gates of Hell

Rupert Thompson, Author, Rupert Thomson, Author, Gary Fisketjon, Editor Knopf Publishing Group $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40401-9
Spicing sociological realism with semi-lurid gothic touches, British novelist Thomson ( Dreams of Living ) has produced an incandescently lyrical coming-of-age novel and brooding thriller that also serves as an allegory of our century of impersonal death. Exuding sinister charisma, funeral parlor director Neville Creed crosses ethical boundaries and murders for the fun of it. Jed Morgan, a runaway from a broken home, falls into Creed's orbit and is ordered to rub out a youth gang's leader, a senseless crime. After six years on the run, Jed returns to expose Creed, who may have also murdered the chief executive standing between him and a promotion. In attempting to take revenge on Creed, Jed enlists Nathan Christie, like himself a drifting youth from a troubled home (Nathan was seduced by his stepmother on the day of his father's funeral). Taut vernacular dialogue, arresting imagery and a provocative, sinuous plot culminate in a climax full of ironic surprises. A writer of exceptional gifts, Thomson cuts to the quick of experience in every paragraph. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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