THE SHAMAN by Frank Coffey


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Occult-gore claptrap, a recycling of that old scenario about the Mexican god of death who needs a blond virgin's heart. Kate Whitworth has had terrific reviews on her first three novels but is drying up in Manhattan and needs to get back to her roots in upstate New York. But things are even worse back home: her mother is still in the madhouse, and her stepfather Zellmer has just committed suicide. Moreover, unbeknownst to Kate, a demonic creature, a giant with a half-melted face, has trekked from Mexico to her small town because of some Aztec ritual-artifacts that Zellmer brought back from Mexico; the demon intends to perpetuate the old Aztec sacrifices by reanimating Zellmer's corpse. So dead folks start turning up all over town, while Zellmer's body disappears from its coffin. And on New Year's Eve nine people are incomprehensibly murdered by nine catatonic murderers. Things get really ugly, however, when Kate's daughter Allison is snatched, only to wake up naked on an altar, where the half-melted giant plans to remove her heart (he's already eviscerated her dachshund). How does it all end? As it always does--with help from an Aztec-religion expert (brought in by Kate's new boyfriend), with a magic knife that can kill this death-god, and with a big showdown as naked Allison squirms on the altar. Derivative junk, ret deemed not at all by first-novelist Coffey's pretentious penchant for quotations from the classics.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's