BLESS THE CHILD by Cathy Cash Spellman


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 Spellman's corpulent, noisy, sagas with their pretzel plots (Paint the Wind, 1990, etc.) have dealt with earthly mayhem; but now we get a mammoth occult bash, much of the action taking place several mystical leagues off the ground and back all the way to ancient Egypt--with demons booming, gorge-rising sanguinary rites, and a cosmic battle of Satan's fan club vs. a grandmother. Maggie O'Connell's daughter, lost hophead Jenna, had left off her infant, Cody, at Maggie's New York apartment. But now, two years later, three-year-old Cody becomes the epicenter of a cosmic battle. It seems that Cody is really a Messenger of the goddess Isis and capable of Materializing the ``Isis Amulet,'' which will bring the absolute power of Good. Also awaiting Materialization is the ``Stone of Sekhmet'' (very, very bad). Slavering to get at the Stone and defeat Good is a cartel of slime-buckets who are big in drug and arms sales. The grue gang has readied a Connecticut mansion for a dandy Walpurgisnacht ritual. Cody is now the legal possession of a prime nasty who's married to blank-eyed Jenna, and he is being mentally tortured by a terrifying nanny, exposed to a cellar-ful of caged blood ``donors'' (called, with reason, the ``Screamers'') and other miseries. Grandmother Maggie is determined to rescue Cody and collects her allies: a soul-scouring priest, an aged mystic rabbi, a knowledgeable ``metaphysician,'' a police lieutenant, plus a team from Israel's secret army. With lessons in mystic lore, many travels back and forth to ancient Egypt, and uncovering of plots as the deadline to killer-rites nears, there's lots going on. The windup rescue in the crypt with a loud demon who's a whiz at dialectic is a wow. Occult twaddle with a surface scholarly sheen: it's all breathless and urgent--and will probably Materialize on the bestseller lists. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for May)

Pub Date: April 21st, 1993
ISBN: 0-446-51697-X
Page count: 496pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993