THE NEED by Andrew Neiderman


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Veteran paperback author Neiderman's 22nd novel: a dispiritingly inept horror tale and little advance on Sisters (1971). Clea Cave, a movie star of beautiful perfection, awakens to find the battered head of her last night's lover on the pillow beside her, goes to an L.A. police station to confess to handsome detective Stephen Mayer that she is an Androgyne and knows who is responsible for this and another recent murder: her fellow Androgyne, Richard, who lives in her body. She then tells the seemingly disbelieving detective her history and that of the alien race of Androgynes, who live among mankind and feed off the sexual energies of women. Androgynes are all perfectly beautiful. Though outwardly female until menstruation, they are actually both sexes, and each Androgyne's male being makes its first appearance at the onset of adolescence. It is the male Androgyne who does the ""hunting"" for the pair, is capable of seducing any woman and then bringing on ever-more-powerful orgasms that kill her as her life-essence enters him (through his erection?--it's not clear). After baring her chest, Clea senses Mayer's disdain and flounces out. She gathers up all of Richard's belongings to throw them out, but first is visited by Alison, another Androgyne, who is accompanied by a beautiful girl Androgyne, Adrian, on the verge of her first change. Is Clea acting against the race? When Mayer arrives, the reader can't understand why he swallows her story until it is revealed that Mayer himself is...well, not an Androgyne but a real snake. Dumbsville.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1992
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Putnam