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Mirror

Novel by Graham Masterton (Scotland) 1988.

Another controlled burst of terror fiction from the prolific pen of Mr. Masterton. The first of three horror novels bearing his name to see the light of day in 1988, Mirror is a lot better than the disappointing Death Dream but not quite up to the classic Ritual. Returning to his old plot device - an artefact of some sort that brings occult evil into the modern day - here we have the mirror of the title which contains Boofuls, a Hollywood boy star of the 1930's who died by being chopped up into a large number of little pieces by his grandmother who in turn hanged herself immediately afterwards.

Martin Williams is a screenwriter with a Boofuls obsession who has been trying unsuccessfully to sell a screenplay for a film of his hero's life. When he acquires the mirror that saw Boofuls' death he soon finds out that the male equivalent of Shirley Temple was actually a little devil - literally. Possessed by Satan himself, his appointed quest was to find the various parts of the Devil's physical body, which once collected together, and with the appropriate rituals and the slaughter of 144,000 people, Old Nick can reappear in physical form - with obvious results. But Boofuls has kidnapped Emilio, the five year old grandson of Martin's landlord, and put him inside the mirror. To get him back, Martin must help Boofuls to finish Sweet Chariot, the film he was making when he got murdered back in the '30's which somehow fits in with Boofuls' plan.

Up to Masterton's usual standard, this is another entry into his long backlist of worthwhile titles. But Alice Through the Looking Glass will never read the same again. Starting here, the linking of childhood literature and gut-wrenching horror became a recurring theme in Masterton novels, as major plot devices in The Walkers, Prey and Spirit.


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