NIGHTWING by Martin Cruz Smith

NIGHTWING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the tradition of Stephen King (Salem's Lot), vampirism returns with a full jolt of realistic horror. This time, instead of King's ""human"" colony of bloodsuckers up in Maine, we are given a migrating population of vampire bats that have hopped the border from their ages-old home in Mexico to the mountain caves around Arizona's Painted Desert. Let's say right out that Martin Cruz Smith has a way with bats--their ranged furry plumpness and claw-handed wings come pulsatingly alive in Nightwing with that same crawly creepiness and top-range expulsion of breath that a waterbug or mouse may wring from high-strung young personages. A series of human and animal deaths occur, cause unknown, in which the bodies are left ravaged and skinless. Is it the return of Masaw, the Hopi god of death? Then victims of bubonic plague begin appearing. Soon Indian deputy Youngman Duran, his Health Service mistress, and a bat-killer who has been tracking the vamps from their Mexico caves are out to save the Southwest from a major epidemic (the bats' fleas are rabid), You get to know an awful lot about bats before the climactic cave scenes, wherein a whirlwind of swooping, waddling, hungry suckers decide YOU ARB NEXT. . . . Bloodcooling.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1977
Publisher: Norton