OUTRUN THE DARK by Cecilia Bartholomew


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Billyjean is 21, but having been in a relatively pleasant loony bin since she bashed her little brother with a wrench thirteen years ago, she narrates her horrid homecoming in a voice that swings (unconvincingly) from baby-talk to Big Words to image scrimmage: ""Inside him the lion was alive waiting. Color it black."" This lion-person is Billyjean's hideous father Stuart (only slightly less hideous than selfish mother Muriel), a Daddy who beats on Mommy, creeps into bed with Billyjean, and forbids her to nestle with the nice Jewish neighbors. He's definitely not a therapeutic influence, but Billyjean clings to her sanity, and--assisted by some adoring neighbor kids--she begins to realize that maybe she didn't whack Bubber after all. But who then? Who else? And he's ready to do it again, unless Billyjean's handsome childhood sweetheart Michael can come to the rescue in time--and almost in time to turn a pseudo-psychological creepathon into a fishily resolved romantic suspenser. ""Actually there is Clinical support for such a diagnosis. . . but we don't have time to go into that now,"" says kindly (and apparently utterly incompetent) Dr. Shapiro. ""Love me and everything will be all right,"" says Michael. Which is one way to end an energetically empathic but hopelessly mixed-up inside view of a houseful of crazies.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1977
Publisher: Putnam