THE FACE THAT MUST DIE by Ramsey Campbell


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Originally published in British paperback, this energetic but obvious and predictable psycho-murder novel--by the author of The Nameless, Incarnate (p. 894), etc.--now makes its first US appearance. In Liverpool, there's been a series of slashing-murders involving homosexuals. And a disturbed fellow named Horridge--40-ish, lame, repressed, wallowing in a horror of homosexuality--catches sight of a homosexual named Roy Craig one day. . . and irrationally, obsessively, decides that Craig must be the Liverpool killer. Horridge stalks Craig, informs on him to the police, makes a threatening phone call; he prowls around Craig's apartment building. Eventually, in the thrall of his delusions, Horridge assumes the role of divine avenger--killing Craig in the slasher's style. And then, to cover his tracks (or so he thinks), Horridge must return to the building--first to kill one of Craig's neighbors, then to terrorize a neighbor couple, student Peter and librarian Cathy: the killer takes Cathy hostage, there's a terror-car-ride, and a standard rescue/finale. Campbell does a relatively restrained job with tracking Horridge's madness, even if the attempt at sketching in his pathological family background is awfully thin. And the portrait of the uneasy Peter/Cathy relationship--he's something of a druggie--is sturdy filler, never slowing down the pace too seriously. In all: a simple psycho idea, competently executed, but distinctive only in the Liverpool backgrounds.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1983
ISBN: 1933618027
Publisher: Scream/Press (P.O. Box 8531, Santa Cruz, CA 95061)