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Publisher's Weekly
Farris's ( The Fury ; Wildwood ) latest novel is eerie, fast-paced and original. As a child in 1906, Arne Horsfall finds a sealed crate, addressed to a professor at a local college, that has fallen off a train. His father stores the object in the barn until the wayward professor can pick it up. But the crate operates like a Pandora's box on Arne and his mother; overcome with curiosity, they pry it open and unleash an evil spirit. Physically, the spirit looks like a mummified dark-skinned man--not, however, like a black man--and his mother recognizes it from the stories of her childhood as one of the huldufolk , the ''unwashed children of Cain,'' evil and immortal. When the spirit awakens and escapes, the Horsfall farm becomes blighted; Arne's father dies of gangrene at its touch, and his mother becomes its slave. At this point the novel flashes forward to 1970: Arne is a deaf-mute in a mental institution, where he has lived for untold years. His art therapist, Enid Waller, takes pity on him and invites him to her home for dinner. Out of the hospital for the first time in decades, Arne senses the dark spirit, who has multiplied and stirs now in response to Arne's freedom. The lives of the Waller sisters will never be the same.

Library Journal
The mummified, human-like figures hidden in caves beneath a Tennessee burg--where years before 74 people had suddenly disappeared--hold the key to an ancient curse threatening to reemerge. Don't be mislead by the ludicrous title; Farris, Scare Tactics ( LJ 7/88) and The Fury ( LJ 8/76), has written one of the best horror novels of the year, striking the perfect balance between rich Southern gothic and outright hideous graphic narrative. In turns both beautiful and grotesque, Farris's work is on a par with the best of Manly Wade Wellman's ( The Voice of the Mountain, LJ 12/84; What Dreams May Come, LJ 12/15/83). Sure to be a big hit among genre fans.--Mark Annichiarico, ''Library Journal''

Genre: Horror

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