THE PROVING by Thomas Szollosi


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Inspired, it would seem, less by Stephen King than by exploitation horror-flicks, first-novelist Szollosi (described as ""a successful screenwriter"") offers a foul gore-lest featuring the long, predictable duel between a ""telekinetic"" homicidal maniac and a stereotypical, brooding, sour, post-Wambaugh cop/hero. Thanks in part to LAPD super-cop Husky Martin, psychopath Edgar Lamp has been convicted of the murders of 28 young men. And now Lamp is being transported, under guard, to Dallas, where he's to be tried for the murders of 28 young women. But the psycho escapes en route, of course, killing several cops, and proceeds to do a major ""Proving"" to reaffirm his power: he massacres some skid-row bums and then six grandmothers--using miniature bombs (which the ""old cunts"" are forced to swallow), some Hispanic-gang sidekicks, and. . .yes, telekinesis. (Just by concentrating, you see, Lamp can make someone's internal organs explode.) Martin manages to capture Lamp again; Lamp escapes again, this time causing a plane crash in the process. (Among the dead: Martin's best pal, a writer working on a book about Lamp.) So it's time now for the big psycho/cop showdown--which is arranged with help from the one person in the world whom Lamp fears: his plucky old grandma, who broadcasts a taunting TV-message to smoke the maniac out of hiding. Szollosi affects a jivey-pulp style that often slops over into unintentional parody. (""Edgar Lamp, his King Shit persona surging to the driver's seat of his cerebral cortex. . ."") The psycho's background (a religious-fanatic grandpa) is no more convincing than the romantic subplot for cop Martin. And, though dumb and dank throughout, this derivative swill hits rock-bottom when Lamp turns a casual-sex encounter into a gory, telekinetic super-rape.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1988
Publisher: Doubleday