Seldom does the payoff for a monumental buildup equal expectations, but the resolution of this thriller's spellbinding plot actually exceeds its promise. Newly single New Yorker Lola Aragon has taken a job as a high school administrator in rural Georgia. Hearing about MaryAnn Nelson, a local girl born with such monstrous deformities that she has been virtually imprisoned by her mother and may not even know how to speak, Lola resolves to help her, ignoring warnings that MaryAnn may be more feral than human. But people who have passed MaryAnn's house in the dead of night have been murdered hideously by a hooded girl who runs like a wolf through lightless woods--and, in fact, MaryAnn's mother forces her to wear a hood to hide her grisly features. When a pair of tough teenagers equally determined to make contact with MaryAnn breaks into the shack, one of them is left without a throat and the other, near death, flees and brings a mob to its feet. MaryAnn runs away, and the prolonged search for her elicits both sympathy and fear, but the surprise awaiting readers is nothing short of stunning. And after the gasp subsides, the truly dark side of Vance's ( The Abyss ) first hardcover novel will overwhelm. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990 Release date: 10/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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