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The Right Hand of Evil


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About the Author

JOHN SAUL's first novel, Suffer the Children, published in 1977, was an immediate million-copy bestseller. He has since written twenty successive bestselling novels of suspense, including The Presence, Black Lightning, Guardian, The Homing, and most recently Shadow Sister. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling serial thriller The Blackstone Chronicles, initially published in six installments, but now available in one complete volume. Mr. Saul divides his time between Seattle, Washington, and Maui, Hawaii.


Saul has trawled the trenches of the Gothic many times before (The Blackstone Chronicles, etc.), but this whopper of a nightmare tale has been fished from the region's purplest depths. Infanticide, insanity, miscegenation and black magic are in the mulch that nurtures the Conway family tree by the time Ted Conway moves his family to the small Louisiana town of St. Albans and into the house bequeathed him by his weird Aunt Cora, who was institutionalized for 40 years following the suicide of her husband and the disappearance of her newborn child. An alcoholic who can barely hold a job, Ted blossoms under the cursed house's influence and begins restoring it with a plan to turn it into a hotel. By contrast, Ted's teenage son Jared absorbs the taint that has infected generations of his ancestors and spits it back out in acts of juvenile delinquency and ritual animal sacrifice. Among the folks convinced that the transformation of both father and son are due to the same malignant presence are the parish priest, determined to drive the Conways out of town, and a voodoo practicing next-door neighbor, whose father was lynched by one of Ted's forebears. The spooky moments, which culminate (not surprisingly) on Halloween weekend, never quite add up. But Saul juggles clich‚s at truly dazzling speed, and almost persuades readers that the holes in the plot are for catching one's breath while trying to keep pace with his dizzying twists. Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild selection. (June)

--Publishers Weekly

--Chicago Tribune

"GRIPPING AND FAST-PACED . . . A slick thriller in which deftly drawn characters must face the demons in their own lives to conquer that which claims the family's souls."

The Conways inherit a long-abandoned house and a trust with enough money to allow them to restore the place to a habitable condition. This family of five has its problems--Ted's an alcoholic and Janet's a struggling artist--and they jump at the chance to own their own home. The three children are doing fine until they move into this house, which seems to have a life of its own--a life that includes voodoo, suicide, strange disappearances, and rumors of murder. Bill Weideman's reading is expressive, and his words are clearly enunciated. This easy-to-follow story will be in demand from horror and Dean Koontz fans. Recommended for public libraries.--Laurie Selwyn, Bells, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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