THE DROWNED by Elizabeth Levy


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An Atlantic City dowager reanimates her drowned son with annual human sacrifices in this confusing chiller. Visiting her aunt while her mother is away, Lily meets Clark, a compellingly attractive young man, little realizing that he has already selected her to be his mother's next drowning victim. Levy (Cheater, Cheater, 1993, etc.) gives readers hints--Clark's cold skin, a bizarre old news item about a mother who put her dead son's bed out in the yard and announced he would return to it, tales of other drownings--but never puts together a consistent picture. Lily's self-reliance deserts her at convenient moments, and it's never clear how much volition Clark has or how active a role he takes in the killings. As hostage to Clark's mother, Lily keeps drinking obviously poisoned tea; when it is her turn to be drowned, Clark, who loves her, stages an unconvincing rescue and pulls his mother down instead. Though Levy creates nightmarish scenes, the story shows little internal logic and, during the period of Clark's indecision and Lily's long confinement, nearly strands readers in a slow, drawn-out last half.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
Page count: 195pp
Publisher: Hyperion