THE CHOSEN CHILD by Graham Masterton


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A horrid something prowls the Polish sewage tunnels, laying waste to whatever moves.

What kind of something? Warsaw workmen building the plush new Senate Hotel are convinced it’s a demon. The media has dubbed it the “Executioner” because decapitation looms so large in its m.o. But Sarah Leonard, the beautiful, imperious troubleshooter dispatched from Chicago to head the Senate project, is less interested in what it is than in how much time it’s costing her company. She has deadlines, and employees are refusing to go underground at the construction site until the demon is caught—a prospect Komisarz Stefan Rej, the homicide cop in charge of the investigation, doesn’t find imminent. Since he has no clues except for seven victims, with nothing in common but the loss of their heads, Sarah decides to import a detective of her own: retired Chicago police inspector Clayton Marsh. Marsh, who “has one of the most brilliant minds in criminal investigation,” begins by scheduling a séance, at which scary but productive manifestations occur. Thanks to Madame Krystyna’s cooperative medium, Sarah, Rej, and Marsh, now formed into an ad hoc sleuthing team, get their first real clue: a line on a dead child connected to a bloody event in Poland’s melancholy WWII history. Could the Executioner be someone seeking revenge for 55-year-old war crimes? Are the beheadings the work of an evil gangster whose weapon of choice happens to be a baling hook? Or is the demonic thing a literal demon? Only after several additional murders, repeated chases through those slimy tunnels, a failed exorcism, a second séance, and a sexy interlude shared by Sarah and Rej, is the answer made clear—after a fashion.

Preposterously plotted, stylistically gauche, the 28th by the British horror specialist (Snowman, 2000, etc.) stretches belief and tries the patience.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-87382-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000


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