PRELUDE TO A SCREAM by Jim Nisbet

PRELUDE TO A SCREAM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Tough-guy burlesque about a San Francisco truck driver who literally gets taken to the cleaners when his kidney is stolen, by the author of Death Puppet (1989), etc. The footloose Stanley Ahearn saves a Chinese girl from drowning and is given a job hauling produce for the grateful Hop Toy in Chinatown, plus a place to live. Though now employed, Stanley is nonetheless a drunk with a taste for prostitutes in the Tenderloin. One night, after his usual enjoyment, he meets a striking, fast-talking woman at a bar who slips him chloral hydrate, and he wakes up in a hospital days later. Organ thieves have removed Stanley's right kidney and left him in a sleeping bag in the park. Not only has he been robbed of a kidney (made extra valuable by his O-Negative blood), but the real bad news is that his remaining kidney has amyloidosis, a fatal illness--as did the lost kidney, which means someone will pay big money to have a worn- out kidney replaced with a worn-out kidney. His blood type gives Stanley a start at tracking down the girl, since only his HIV test center knew his blood type. Help comes at the center, but sometime later the center employee who comes to his aid is found devoid of all his organs (including his eyes) as a warning to Stanley. Stanley does finally locate the girl, but too late to stop another harvesting. Eventually, his sleuthing leads to a funeral home, where he finds himself once more unwillingly recruited as a donor- -only this time it's likely he'll lose all of his major organs. Hyperblack splatter camp that will appeal to the completely heartless.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7867-0408-X
Page count: 384pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997