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Books for Review should be sent to: Don D'Ammassa, 323 Dodge Street,  East Providence, RI 02914

Last Update 1/19/21

The Books of Blood Volume 6 by Clive Barker,  1985 

Also published as Lord of Illusions. A woman becomes fascinated with a mysterious crypt that is to be breached by a new construction project. Shady entrepreneurs in South America kill a child and offend a village, resulting in bizarre retribution. Spies from both sides of the Iron Curtain are caught up in a threat that transcends politics.  This was the weakest volume in the series – the stories are all readable but none are memorable. Barker’s storehouse of ideas may have run low, and he in any case was soon writing doorstop sized novels and never looked back. 1/19/21

The Books of Blood Volume 5 by Clive Barker, 1985 

Also published as In the Flesh. “In the Flesh” is a creepy story set in a prison involving dreams of a city occupied entirely by dead murderers. “The Forbidden” was the basis for the Candyman movies about a supernatural serial killer. Another story features a shady entrepreneur who encounters inhuman creatures in an abandoned hotel. The last story is about a woman who stumbles into an installation where the secret masters of the world are being held prisoner. It’s one of the weaker stories. 1/7/21

Doctor Orient by Frank Lauria, Bantam, 1970  

Opening volume in a series about a kind of occult detective, filled with extraordinary mental powers but presented in such a chaotic fashion that it is often difficult to figure out what is going on and who has what powers. Owen Orient is the protagonist who, with the aid of some telepathic friends, discovers that someone is using black magic somewhere in Manhattan in order to accumulate a massive amount of psychic power. Rather poorly written with doubletalk to smooth over the gaps of logic, new powers revealed whenever they are useful, and a lazy plot that never gains any momentum. 1/5/21

The Books of Blood Volume 4 by Clive Barker, 1985  

Also published as The Inhuman Condition. The story with that title involves a handful of punks who pick on the wrong derelict, one who has magical knots in his pocket. This volume contains “The Body Politic,” in which human hands decide to rebel against the rest of the body. A ghostly interact with an unhappy married couple at a motel where one of them killed the other. The final story – about an experiment that turns a man into a superhuman rapist – is one of the few Barkers I thought was awful. 1/3/21

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