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Flat, ponderous, and ultimately ridiculous story about the cast of a soap-opera megahit, their stalking by a (maybe) vampire and the black-cop (Arty Tobin)/whitecop (E.L. Oxman) team who figure it out. Who killed the night watchman on the Shadowtown soap set, then ran off tossing his white mane and twirling his black cape? The ghost of dead cast member Allan Ames, who played vampire Edgar Grume? A disgruntled lover of bitchy Lana Spence, as predatory in real life as on stage? Brutal set-designer Zach Denton, who also happens to be the assaultive ex-husband of cop Oxman's lover Jennifer? Big-bucks producer types Overbeck and Youngerman? Soon caped figures loom everywhere: in alleys frequented by winos; on the TV screen, unplanned for and inexplicable; at Lana's door, wielding a bone-handled knife. Then Lana's past lovers--all of them broke, has-been actors with a drug habit--keep dying in seedy apartments. Could this have anything to do with the nasty letters she's been receiving for several months? You betcha. Flat-footed detective work will eventually lead Oxman and Tobin to the mastermind just as he's consumed with a need to confess, then over to the set where Lana has been waylayed by one of his murdering cohorts, who meets his end via a police bullet. Heavy-handed pap from an author whose novels (Dancer's Debt, etc.) reserve depth for cops, superficiality foreveryone else--in this case, the reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1988
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine