THE LADY IN THE LOCH by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough


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Hardly has aspiring author Walter Scott (yes, that Walter Scott) assumed the post of Edinburgh’s sheriff than the city is rocked by a crime spree out of The Silence of the Lambs. A recently slain young woman rises from the coffin to accuse her murderer in rude verse; a spectral coach is linked to a series of kidnapings; and a jumble of bones pulled out of a half-frozen loch suggest that the flower of Edinburgh has been in danger for years. A series of cackling diary entries soon reveals the agent of the abductions: a madman intent on stealing a broad enough menu of body parts to reanimate his lost love. And just as this mysterious kidnapper anticipates his near-contemporary Frankenstein, Scarborough makes it clear that her lady in the lake anticipates the lady Scott will later immortalize in poetry. Though the terror runs highest among the gypsies whose ranks are most cruelly thinned by the hunter of vital organs, the obvious suspects (perhaps a little too obvious) are the upper-class swells among Scott’s own acquaintance. Connoisseurs of crossover fiction, however, will note a full meed of dismemberments, ghostly possessions, and demi-resurrections (don’t count anybody out of the action just because she’s dead) before the culprit is brought to book. Sadly, the homicidally forlorn lover is so industrious in his scarifying work that fantasist Scarborough (The Godmother’s Apprentice, 1995, etc.) has little time to spare for the puir wee lady in the loch.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-441-00582-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Ace/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1998


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