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God of a Thousand Faces

Novel by Michael Falconer Anderson (UK) 1987.

Jack Law is the travel editor of The Globe, a London Sunday paper. He is in India writing a series of articles on what he sees around him, something more than the usual tourist stuff. Then he meets a Canadian in a bar, who recommends the imminent Festival of the Sedali. This is a religious festival in the middle of nowhere in which the evil god Dacahri transfers his essence into the body of a young girl, who will be his host for a thousand days (one for each of his incarnations), until it's time to move on to another girl. Unfortunately Law's ancient hired car slips its hand brake, causes a horrific accident, and from then on his life is turned upside down.

Book number three for Anderson, and yet again it's an improvement on the last - he just keeps getting better and better. The Woodsmen wasn't a particularly good book at all, The Unholy was a good book let down by inconsistency, and God of a Thousand Faces is another good book let down by nothing whatsoever. Having said that, it's certainly not a classic, but it's difficult to fault it in any specific way. Maybe it feels a bit like the first half of a longer book; maybe the ending is too short; maybe the cast is still a bit too stereotypical; maybe the central character Jack Law is a bit too similar to Jon Hammond, the hero of The Unholy. But these aren't hugely important points; the important thing is that this is a consistently well-written and enjoyable book and a worthy addition to any horror fan's bookshelf.


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