When Dr. Slaughter's 56th book announces that it is ""a novel of demonology,"" hopes are raised that are far from fulfilled. This is mild demonology at best, despite the fact that it openly derives from Malachi Martin's hyperbaroque Hostage to the Devil (1976). The hero is a youthful plastic surgeon with a Pygmalion complex: he's determined to remake the face of a lady reporter who was nearly killed in an airplane crash and give her the features of Praxiteles' Aphrodite--and throw in a mammaplasty too, boosting her from a 32-A to a 36-B. (He is, after all, only 27.) The difficulty is that a devil-worshipping female terrorist-murderess who died in the crash implored her Master to save her at the moment of impact--and the Devil put her spirit into the news-hen's body. Now the recovering reporter--on her way to apotheosis as one of the World's most beautiful women--has unaccountable blackouts and strange lapses into obscene behavior. She and the surgeon fall in love, but they can't marry, since both recognize the brassy presence of the evil spirit that takes over the new Galatea whenever her guard is lowered by sleep or alcohol. Dr. Slaughter's fans will find this all working out at just about their tolerance level for willing suspension of disbelief. . . while Malachi Martin would send them screaming through the streets.