Headsman

James Neal Harvey, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (372p) ISBN 978-1-55611-263-8
Harvey ( By Reason of Insanity ) goes a long way toward establishing his mastery of the horror genre with this engrossing thriller. Here he blends many of the elements other writers use as the full focus of their stories--the return of a legendary and horrifying killer, the young woman with a strange psychic power that enables her to see through the killer's eyes, a small town in which growing terror is matched by a fear that long-hidden secrets will be revealed. When a pretty teenager in Braddock, N.Y., is beheaded in her own bedroom while her parents sleep, memories are awakened of the village's 18th-century executioner, rumored to return periodically to kill his chosen victims. As the murders continue, Braddock's young chief of police, Jud MacElroy, must deal with the town fathers, who don't want things stirred up; an officious state investigative team; and his own ambitious girlfriend, a reporter who may want the story more than she wants him. With the help of the tormented psychic, Jud comes to a deadly showdown with the headsman in a scene somewhat marred by an awkward tying together of all loose ends. Harvey's couching of the tale in the ordinary and familiar makes it all the more chilling. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-515-11209-2
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-78408-524-7
Ebook - 372 pages - 978-1-4804-8588-4
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