THE STALKING MAN by William J. Coughlin

THE STALKING MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ready for another homicidal maniac who rapes, tortures, mutilates, and/or crucifies women of easy virtue? This one is called ""The Stalking Man""--part of his loony inner monologue (in italics, as usual) is obsessed with his dad's hunting--and he's actually been caught once already. But he was found not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity, and now he's been released from the nuthouse with a secret new identity, supposedly cured. So what does he do? He goes a-stalking again, of course, spelling out the word ""S-T-A-L-K-I-N-G"" by slaughtering ladies in St. Louis, Toledo, Akron, Louisville, Kokomo, Indianapolis, Niles, and Grand Rapids. (The Grand Rapids victim is ""skinned and dressed like a deer,"" propped up on a carnival ring-toss board ""like a crucifixion,"" with a grinning panda doll stuffed into the body cavity.) He also kills his permissive psychiatrist (an inane caricature) and his lawyer's wife (he blames the lawyer for getting him committed) and then goes after the girlfriend of the cop who arrested him. He drags her to the top of a skyscraper, off which he is later cold-bloodedly pushed by the lawyer, with the cop's blessing. ""It was like shooting a mad dog; it had to be done."" If you like the vigilante theme, you'll love the explanatory psychology: ""They all reminded him of his mother. . . ."" Even by the debased standards of this most worthless genre--unusually foul

Pub Date: March 30th, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte