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What's the secret behind the epileptic fits of Reverend Josh McDavid down in Mobile? Dr. Judy Borland, leading neurosurgeon at a big New Orleans hospital, begins digging into Josh's illness, testing (by inducing further fits) to determine if his disease could be cured by surgical treatment--removing the very brain cells that cause the attacks. Meanwhile, it's necessary to get a family history to see if Josh's epilepsy is congenital, so Josh's estranged, secretly pregnant girlfriend Madelyn sets out to use her father's money in tracing Josh's mysterious lineage. Her work on the genealogy takes her around the country and to the Vatican and Israel, because it turns out that orphan Josh apparently carries a fantastic curse: for the past 75 generations, his family's males have committed suicide in their early thirties during Easter month! Why so? Because Josh's distant ancestor was the centurion who crucified Christ and then recognized Him as the Son of God: the horror of this got stamped into his genes. More supernatural twaddle from the author of Damon and Death Knell, but less lurid than those--and some readers may be engrossed by the detailed epilepsy/surgery exposition.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday