Leaden, banal occult-ery. Felice Allan, a former ballet dancer who has injured her leg and retired, leaves her beastly husband and, with small son Jason, goes off to visit her Aunt Gene--back in her Va. hometown. But a gypsy promptly kidnaps Jason from a playground and takes him to the cellar of a deserted old farmhouse deep in the woods, where Jason becomes one of The Fagin, a demonic group of child thieves modeled on Oliver Twist. The gypsy turns out to be Satan's emissary and conducts hideous rituals with human beings--castrating them on an altar, beheading them, sacrificing goats, and sodomizing some boys until they're dead. Meanwhile, distraught Felice is berated by her husband; the police make only a cursory search; at last she's befriended by Ken Burkey, an ex-cop/Marlboro Man, and by Indian psychic Robert Lightfoot, a he-man. . . who nonetheless is battered to death by evil spirits after he tells Felice that Jason is still alive. The townsfolk, of course, are in on the evil doings--and the climax is the big ceremony, with Ken and Felice rescuing Jason while the deserted house self-destructs. . . which is precisely what most readers will want this foul, foolish novel to do.