New trade paperback edition from Gordian Knot Press only $9.99. ISBN 978-1519058317.
E-book available for Kindle or Nook.
Anderson (The Devil Made Me Do It Again and Again, 2016, etc.) tells the story of a vicious series of murders in a small
Illinois town in this thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Joyce Roberts underwent an unbelievable trauma when she was 6—her father killed her older sister,
and the event left both her mind and body scarred. Now an orphan living with her grandparents, she tries to acclimate to
life as a normal teenager. She excitedly agrees to attend the senior prom with Tony Virusso, the most popular boy in
school. Things go well, and Tony takes Joyce to the cool kids’ after-party. But after the two go off to an empty room
with the intention of sleeping together, the night goes off the rails: Tony’s jealous ex-girlfriend bursts into the room,
revealing Joyce’s hideous scars to the school’s social elite and causing her to flee into the night. Things get even worse,
however, when someone murders the other partygoers, including Tony. The victims are all struck in the head, and the
faces of the men bashed in. Det. Sgt. Carl Erickson and Dr. Marsha Wade, the police team assigned to investigate the
murders, guess that the assailant is most likely a woman, and the identity of the killer may have something to do with
Joyce’s troubled past. Anderson originally published this novel in 1989, but this edition has been revised and updated
with more contemporary references; one character, for example, is described as a “Britney Spears lookalike.” Still, the
book has the feel of a vintage 1980s pulp novel, which may help distract readers from the plot’s more predictable
elements. Overall, it traffics in mostly enjoyable camp, featuring scenes of gore (“Pools of blood ruined the carpet and
flecks of blood and brains stained the wallpaper”), sex (“his hands slid up her thighs to probe again at her liquid center”),
and dated teen dialogue (“Is she Gary’s steady?”). That said, its tendency to dwell on the size of female characters’
breasts is somewhat off-putting.
A kitschy murder-mystery thriller with a retro feel.
Horror and suspense novel from Paul Dale Anderson. Published 1989 by Pinnacle Books, Available on Amazon.com