ROGANO by Stephen Knight

ROGANO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It's London, 1902, and retired Inspector Brough of Scotland Yard has been asked to investigate, informally, the recent wave of murders by ""The Deptford Strangler."" So, when Brough's nephew Nicholas returns from Italy all excited about research into a series of murders in 15th-century Rogano, it doesn't take long before Brough realizes the incredible parallels between the two series of murders: ""The interval between each murder and the age and sex of each victim corresponded exactly. . . ."" What's more, Nicholas has been having blackouts and dreams about the stranglings. What does it all mean? Well, according to a mysterious German stranger who has been haunting Nicholas, astral-style, it means that Nicholas is the reincarnation of one of two brothers suspected of those 15th-century murders; the German stranger is the reincarnation of the other brother. And, in fact, ""All the victims of the present murderer are reincarnations of the Rogano victims!"" So off to Italy go Brough, Nicholas, and the German, because ""identifying the fifteenth-century killer will tell us who the current strangler is."" Their investigation takes them to caves, museums, and haunted churches; and still more bodies surface. Finally it turns out that everybody's the reincarnation of everybody else (as predicted by Nostradamus to boot)--and that the motive for all the murders has to do with the roots of Christianity. A few clever notions lost in a talky, confused reincarnative goulash--further mucked up by supposed turn-of-the-century British dialogue replete with anachronisms and Americanisms.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday