Yet another hackneyed spinoff of the Manson tragedy--featuring Philips' colorless sleuth, Newsview writer Peter Styles. His ease: actress Joyce Lawton and her sister Jennifer have been stabbed to death and mutilated in the quiet New England town where the Lawtons (Joyce and husband Greg, a onetime movie idol now paralyzed by a racing accident) have established a regional theater. Police Chief Stark is getting nowhere, even though the townsfolk are eager to pin the murders on a quasi-religious cult: the cult members all have impeccable alibis. And then there's another murder--that of gossip columnist Laura Keyes, in town for the funeral. Was Keyes connected to Zarilla, head of the cult? So it seems, and Styles works his tedious way through numerous red herrings. . . only a few chapters behind the reader dogged enough to stick with this contrived, heavily padded snoozer.