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Black Angel

Novel by Graham Masterton (Scotland) 1991.

At first glance this appears to be a serial killer novel - a strange departure from the demonic evil that Graham Masterton focuses on so much. But though it stars the 'Fog City Satan', a particularly gruesome serial killer, Black Angel is at heart another of the occult thrillers for which the author is rightly known. Lt Larry Foggia is the new guy responsible for catching the particularly sadistic killer who plays with his victims before killing them. The first murders in the book come when the killer forces an ex-cop to nail his own hands to the floor. The hands of his wife soon follow suit, then their knees. Only then are the children brought out, nailed to the wall and set alight. But the Fog City Satan is following a ritual pattern designed to bring back something horrendous, in a similar way to the film The First Power; and there is a conspiracy of power seekers hindering the investigation.

After twenty plus horror novels, it becomes difficult to find something new to say about Graham Masterton's work, never more so than with Black Angel. This is pretty much what the author is noted for: a sharp and thoroughly readable thriller of supernatural evil. The only slight departures from normal are the passages sending up the author's own debut novel, The Manitou, and a more gritty depiction of violence than we have come to expect; making this a curious mix of extreme nastiness and light hearted jest. Another worthwhile read in the vein we have come to expect from the master of the occult thriller.

Published in the US as Master of Lies.

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