cover image A LOWER DEEP


Tom Piccirilli, . . Leisure, $5.99 (363pp) ISBN 978-0-8439-4921-6

A narrator known only as the Necromancer and his demonic spiritual companion, "Self," wander the spectral highways of this bizarre novel, which focuses on the narrator's attempt to prevent Armageddon. To do so, the Necromancer must battle the leader of his old coven, Jebediah DeLancre, who has created a new band of witches intent on forcing Christ to return to Earth prematurely. When Jebediah offers to raise Danielle, the Necromancer's only love, from the dead in exchange for his cooperation, he finds himself torn between good and evil. Images of Christianity dance on the same page with descriptions of satanic rituals, and Piccirilli's working knowledge of the Old and New Testaments equals his study of the black arts. That said, a stream of characters, spirits and demons wander in and out of this disturbing tale, including Michael the Archangel, who is wrested from the stomach of the Necromancer's father. Piccirilli (The Night Class) attempts to lighten the story up with Self's flippant one-liners, but a glut of gory details will keep readers squirming. This tale is not for the fainthearted; there's enough bloodletting and hellish savagery here to give even the most hardened horror fans the creeps. (Oct. 16)