From Publishers Weekly
Etchison is one of our best horror short story writers, achieving his chilling effects by weaving together almost disparate sinister elements: a barely heard sound, the look of a street, a memory. This collection, his third, contains 13 stories; most are good, and some quite frightening. In "Call 666" a man whose life is disintegrating after a breakup with his emotionally disturbed lover stumbles upon what may be an order-by-phone murder service. In "The Spot" a professional apartment cleaner, repeatedly confronted with the dead ends of other people's lives, begins to see intimations of his own future. "The Soft Wall" concerns a man whose marriage has become unbearable; in an hallucinatory nightmare, from which he never escapes, he dismembers his wife. "Bloodgame" tells of a TV game show host whose life is ingeniously undone by the daughter of a man whom he had destroyed decades before. And in "Home Call" a social worker makes the huge mistake of not heeding her own disturbing intuitions.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The subtitle speaks the truth: the 10 tales in Campbell's collection are filled with graphic, steamy sexual encounters, many of which end badly. "Dolls" is set in Puritan America, where a group of wayward churchgoers have formed a sexually free group called the coven. The group's leader, John, uses dolls to strike at his enemies until his own power is turned on him in an unexpected way. In "The Other Woman," Phil becomes obsessed with the covers he paints for horror novels, which depict the strangulation of a beautiful woman. He is unable to muster up any passion for his wife, Hilary, until her growing frustration with his indifference forces him to try, with disastrous results. In "Stages," Ray discovers a powerful drug that allows him to participate in others' sexual experiences. Though the collection is a reprint, it features three new stories, "The Limits of Fantasy," "The Body in the Window," and "Kill Me Hideously," and a new afterword by the author, which begins, "Nobody rebels like a good Catholic boy." Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved