THE COLD ONE by Christopher Pike

THE COLD ONE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Pike's (The Season of Passage, 1992, etc.) briskly paced new sci-fi/fantasy/horror endeavor. Gruesomely shredded corpses attest to the presence of a brutal serial killer in Los Angeles. L.A. Times columnist Peter Jacobs gets involved when a caller confessing to the crimes stalks him. At the same time, Julie Moore, a Ph.D. candidate whose thesis topic is near-death experiences, is contacted by nervous teen Jerry Washington, who insists that his girlfriend, Susan Darly, has been demonically possessed since she nearly drowned. Soon Jerry and Susan's ex-boyfriend Ted are among the murderer's many victims, but not before Julie and Peter coincidentally--very coincidentally-- meet and begin swapping kisses and evidence. The two quickly realize that the killings are somehow linked to their mutual acquaintances, Dr. Lawrence Morray and his much younger wife, Sara (for whom Peter lusts), as well as the first Mrs. Morray (presumed dead). Peter and Julie hunt for the answers to the mysteries of the murders, little realizing (unlike readers) that the real problem is The Cold One, a supernatural demon wearing human disguise and forming a troop of killer zombies. But whose form has ``It'' (as The Cold One is known) taken? That of one of the central characters, naturally, but we won't know which one until the stones of everyone's pasts are overturned and the tangle of worms beneath revealed. The Cold One's origin is finally identified by an Indian- born, L.A.-based engineer, whose pursuit of the superhuman beast Rak only makes things weirder. The gory details make this adequately spooky, but the plot is too ludicrously far-fetched for the novel to be truly harrowing. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85117-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1994




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