THE REVELATION by Bentley Little


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Satan and his minions beset a small Arizona town in Bentley's derivative but vigorous first novel. The troubles in the idyllic town of Randall begin with the desecration of its Episcopal church--defaced by curses drawn in goat's blood--and the vanishing of the minister and his family. Pepsi-deliveryman/aspiring writer Gordon Lewis scarcely notes the blasphemy; but Sheriff Jim Weldon goes on full alert when a local boy lets on that he's dreamt about the minister's family--savaged by monsters at the town dump, with the minister kidnapped by the devil. A search of the dump turns up the bodies; more desecrations follow, as do several spooky murders, committed by small, barely seen pink critters. Meanwhile, Gordon learns that his wife is pregnant, and Brother Elias, a fiery preacher, hitches into town, warning of a coming war twixt Satan and God to be presaged by storms of red lightning and an earthquake. As the portents come to pass, the legions of murderous pink creatures--who in one bloodbath kill dozens at a local bar--are revealed as the resurrected bodies of centuries' worth of aborted fetuses and stillborn or slain children; evidence enough for this sheriff to pay heed to Elias. The preacher, unveiled as centuries old, gathers up the sheriff, Gordon, and the new Episcopal priest, explaining that the coming battle is but the latest in a war perennially played out in Randall. The four drive to the creatures' burial ground--where, in a long and well-orchestrated climax, they fight the crawling dead even as, back home, Gordon's wife fights to the near-death to save her unborn baby from Satan's grasp. An old horse--the doom-saying preacher, for example, is nearly as hoary as Satan himself--but flogged with style enough to please most horror fans and to let them look forward to Little's next.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's