DOWN WILL COME BABY by Gloria Murphy


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Suspense/low-level horror story by the author of The Playroom (1988) and Bloodties (1987). Murphy shows growing skill in the third of her three mild chillers focused on children. Here, 12-year-old Robin is at summer camp with new bunkmate Amelia. Robin, who lives with her father, has stolen three bottles of vodka from her separated alcoholic mother Eunice. The two girls get looped, go swimming, and Amelia--who can't swim--drowns in Robin's arms. Back home, remorseful Robin seems to have taken on Amelia's being, since the buried girl keeps talking to her. Meanwhile, Eunice keeps trying to kidnap Robin when she is not otherwise phoning husband Marcus or Robin for a drunkologue. Marcus is approached by a new neighbor, Dorothy Cotton, who helps get his house shipshape while mothering a reluctant Robin. Marcus sends Robin to a shrink when her symptoms grow extreme. Eventually, Dorothy, herself once an abused child, kidnaps Robin and takes her off to a graveyard where it's revealed that Dorothy is a serial killer of little girls, all named Amelia, and is the late Amelia's mother and sees Robin as one more Amelia ripe for burying. . . . Murphy strives to make this unlikely tale hang together. There's some choice creepy material about children's songs from England's plague years, but the family stereotypes, witchy villain, and genre cliches lack any wild ring.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1990
ISBN: 1-55611-196-7
Publisher: Donald Fine
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