BLACK LIGHTNING by John Saul

BLACK LIGHTNING

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Bestselling horror writer Saul (The Homing, 1994, etc.) presents the serial killer you can't kill, even with 2,000 volts of electricity flooding through him for two minutes. When Seattle reporter Anne Jeffers attends the execution of Richard Kraven, she's given Kraven's last interview, during which the genius murdererwhose victims are numberlessswears he's innocent. Is it possible that Kraven was possessed by an evil entity, an entity passed into Kraven from his abusive father, who used electricity to torture Richard as a child? Author Saul does not spell it out completely, but when Kraven is electrocuted by the state, his soul leaps into the body of Anne Jeffers's architect husband Glen, who happens to die of a heart attack just then and is brought back to life. Kraven takes over Glen's mind and will ``prove'' to Anne that Richard Kraven was an innocent man. How? By performing new serial murders that, as before, leave a secret sign in the victims' pleural cavity, a pair of black lightning bolts, that only the police know about. At the same time, though, there's a copycat murderer abroad, who also eviscerates his victims as did Kraven. That turns out to be his very dumb brother Rory, whom Kraven murders along with their mother. Meanwhile, Anne gets gaslighted by threats that pop up on her computer, then disappear. Will Kraven/Glen murder her two children in his search for the Life Force? Well, there's no end to murder, since with a twinkle Saul indicates that even with the villain seemingly disposed of, the entityas in any number of taleslives on. Evil genius Kraven lacks the concrete weight on the page of Thomas Harris's serial killers, but no matter. However banal the plot, the suspense works, ensuring the readership of many. (Literary Guild alternate selection)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-449-90864-X
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1995




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