The horror was starting again. That is the opening sentence in this novel, a supernatural thriller about vengeance, love, courage--and getting one more chance! The story deals with mindlinks, thought transference, reincarnation and mindless obedience to a father's demonic will.
The heroine is a middle aged woman named Janet Stapleton,who lost the use of her legs in a mysterious car accident that killed her husband, Russ. For reasons she doesn't understand, her astral body is being called upon to witness a series of brutal slayings. As the story unfolds, it is revealed that she either knew these victims directly or they were related to people she or her husband knew.
The hero is a Manhattan police lieutenant named Eric Siuda,
who investigates the slayings and who becomes romantically
involved with Janet. Together they sort out what is happening
and manage, with Russ Stapleton's beyond-the-grave help, to
thwart the villain, a man named Jim Dawson. Russ, who had a long
and tortured history with Jim Dawson, recognized the evil in the
man and is determined to destroy him even after death. Lacking
the physical means to accomplish the deed, he draws an unwitting
Janet into his nightmare scenario as intermediary.
Jim Dawson, a psychopath dying of AIDS, seeks eternal life
through reincarnation in his imbecilic son's body. Arlo, the
retarded son, has a normal twin named Bruce Lovdal, who is a
doctor. Both sons are "drafted" by their domineering father to
help avenge their mother's death. Jim Dawson, unable to accept
the fact that his wife cheated on him, has convinced himself that
she was fatally infected with the AIDS virus during routine
surgery by a hospital research group nicknamed the "Baker's
Dozen," and he sets out to destroy every member of that group.
Arlo, who was injured in utero when his father kicked his
mother in a fit of rage, has spent most of his life in an
institution for the mentally impaired. Jim and Bruce "rescue"
him, then keep him chained in the basement of a large, decrepit
house on Long Island Sound. Via a mindlink, Bruce uses Arlo to
perform many of the revenge killings. But as Bruce and his
father soon learn, the mind links have a down side. They allow
Arlo to grow, to assimilate their capabilities, and by doing so
diminish their ability to control him. Arlo's growing resolve to
survive soon threatens them.
From the beginning Bruce is aware that someone is watching Arlo
during the killings and he is determined to find and destroy the
watcher. Much of the book deals with his attempts to track her down, the people he kills along the way, and what happens when he finally confronts Janet in Eric Siuda's apartment.
The conclusion pits Janet and Eric against Arlo in the basement
of the Long Island house. Arlo, by this time, has been transformed
into a troika of villains, his body housing, in addition to his own,
the spirits of Bruce and Jim Dawson, both of whom Janet Stapleton has managed to kill. Each of the three entities wants to survive as the dominant being in Arlo's body, and a devastating internal power
struggle leaves a weakened, yet still powerful, Jim Dawson to face
Janet and Eric in a supernatural, unearthly showdown to the death.