A startling, stygian tale of a witches' coven in the midwestern hills, vaulting out of the dark venue of Poe with something of the manic, picaresque energy of Pynchon. Dominating these unorthodox annals are Gipsy, a stray satellite who comes to work for the Lavines (ex-Levine) and leads the pack; and Alan Lavine, an only child who reveals at a very early age that he's a dark mis-conception--a ""real feisty little screw with class and freakiness."" Following after him faithfully is the girl next door, Mary Louise Farmer, through whom some of his later story will be revealed. Before too long, Alan has assumed Gipsy's powers, and after a particularly violent sortie, Alan's father is murdered. There is a town investigation of sorts but Alan leaves to escape them all--except Mary Louise who finally finds him, or is he Gipsy, or is he as he is known, Giles (de Rais?). . . . The obvious comparison cannot be made since it's not everybody's book, but it has a certain unhallowed curiosity value and prowls and howls through these darker reaches with furious enterprise.