CROOKED TREE by Robert C. Wilson


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One of the better spinoffs of Jaws, this plunges us into the jaws of Bruin the bear and is alive with promise for half the distance. Welcome to Michigan's Crooked Tree State Forest, where a lawyer disappears after his car breaks down. Yes, it's a shy black bear gone berserk who chomps him up. Could this bearish nastiness have anything to do with American Indian Janis, who is acting oddly, giving off horrible vibes to her husband Axel Michelson? (She even appears to turn into a mad bear in their bedroom.) Well, when a middleaged camper is attacked in his pup tent, and then\ two girl canoeists find themselves sailing directly into the claws and fangs of two big bears standing erect in the stream and waiting for them (tongues ripped out, sexual violation), Axel's reservations about Janis become enormous, especially after he finds the missing tongues in her pouch. The last straw is when Janis invites a mother and her two daughters out to the Michelson house, and then three bears attack and demolish the ear (plus the visitors). The secret? Janis is possessed, of course, by a 200-year-old Indian spirit, so she races about the forest stark naked eading leading her bear pack and then bursts with them into the house to attack Axel, who is barricaded in the bedroom. The bears are fine, but when the possession theme gets out of gothic hand, all collapses into clichÉ.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1980
ISBN: 047203152X
Publisher: Putnam