EYES IN THE FIRE by Deborah Grabien


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An effective first novel that turns a Druid tragedy into a contemporary horror story. When London stockbroker Julian Dunne arrives at his Dartmoor home, his wife Marian has been beset by the smell of smoke--only there is none--and when he falls asleep on the moor by an Iron Age settlement, he awakens with a seriously burned hand. Then Marian's eyes turn yellow; she accepts sacrifices from hawks; and when the librarian drowns, she ""knows"" he was a human sacrifice Meanwhile, she is being caned to, pulled in, by some long-gone young woman--Lunica, whose pathetic tale is recounted in alternating chapters: She has Celtic powers stronger than The Elders', stronger even than those of the lustful, malevolent Bel, who hates her. As Julian and daughter Gemma stand by helplessly, Marian absorbs more and more of Lunica's emanations, resulting finally in a conflagration of awful dimensions. The ancient sequences--from paint-yourself-blue religious rites to mash-the-meal-by-the fire--read like a Jean Auel abridgement, with a dollop of Barbara Michael's suspense skills. But the alignments--Lunica/Marian, Julian/Cryth, Cemma/Asulicca--are well done, with an ending no less horrific for being inevitable. Overall: an unusual way to scare yourself to death--and a strong career-beginning for Grabien.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's