DOLL'S EYES by Bari Wood


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 Wood wrote three occult novels in the 80's (Amy Girl, 1987, etc.), but her current publisher is promoting her as the author of Twins (1977)--a telling comment on a sagging career that may lift a bit with this vivid if formulaic mix of occult and serial-killer chills. This time, Wood's usual Lady Luckless is poor little rich girl Eve Klein, whose millions can't buy her relief from her other inheritance: the clairvoyant powers that have recently frightened off her husband, Sam. Hoping to confront him, Eve drives from her Connecticut estate to Sam's new house in Raven Lake, New York, where she's instantly felled by a vision of a woman mutilated and dying--the handiwork of local sociopath Adam Fuller, M.D., whose eyes (``empty...dead...glassy. Like a doll's eyes'') give away his utter inability to feel for others, the product of a buried childhood trauma: Fuller kills in the barren hope of feeling pity for his victims. Eve's call to the cops snares homicide legend Dave Latovsky, who takes her to see psychiatrist Terrence Bunner, who happens to have Fuller as a patient. When, at a party, Bunner lets on to Fuller that Eve--whom he won't identify--saw the killer in her vision, the mad M.D. tracks a gory path to the psychic, torturing and shooting Bunner, then a local newsman and his wife, to get Eve's name and address. Meanwhile, at Bunner's funeral, Latovsky notes Fuller's Ken-doll eyes and fingers him for the killer but can't nab him before Fuller snatches Eve, hauling her to his childhood home. There, Eve flashes on the child abuse that turned Fuller into a maniac.... A lurid, loose-jointed tale whose frantic action and emotionalism nearly obscure the familiarity (Koontz, King, etc.) of Wood's themes.

Pub Date: July 26th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-12440-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993