Edward Lee. Cemetery Dance Publications, $40 (477pp) ISBN 978-1-58767-169-2
Lee's vividly imagined third Infernal dark fantasy, like its predecessors City Infernal and Infernal Angel, should please those who like their horror to push the bounds of good taste. Divinity student Venetia Barlow has taken work at St. John's Prior House in New Hampshire while contemplating her future as a nun when she begins receiving psychic communications from someone warning of grave danger to her soul. They prove to be the frantic pleas of Thomas Alexander, a disgraced Catholic priest trapped in Hell, who knows that the house where Venetia works is a front for Satanists, and that she's destined to become the next blood sacrifice in a scheme being engineered by Pope Boniface VII, one of Satan's chief lieutenants. Venetia's frightening ordeal includes provocative discussion of theology, church history and occult lore, but Lee devotes his greatest powers of invention to scenes set in Hell, where towns made of rot, oversexed succubi and gory episodes of creative dismemberment are de rigeur. This novel is definitely not for the squeamish.
Reviewed on: 02/18/2008