FURNACE by Muriel Gray


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Scottish novelist Gray, whose debut performance was the well-received The Trickster(1995), plunges even deeper into Stephen King territory with this remorselessly grisly supernatural thriller set in the Virginia hills and also the remoter ""worlds"" of alchemy and Scots folklore. When trucker Josh Spiller inadvertently runs down a baby carriage that ""accidentally"" rolls into his path, his visit to the (improbably named) town of Furnace becomes an initiation into an imported brand of Satanism, whose minions include a friendly sheriff and a compassionate councilwoman. For nearly half its length, Furnace seems merely a clever variation on King's Desperation, but Gray is a very skillful writer and her story's furious denouement conceals a vivid succession of nasty shocks and surprises. An enjoyably lurid entertainment that will almost certainly shape-shift into a blockbuster movie.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Doubleday