From the bestselling author of "Guardian," "Creature," and "Black Lightning," a spine-tingling tale of all-consuming evil as riveting and chilling as any he has ever produced.
It will be a sweet homecoming for Karen Spellman. After years of living in Los Angeles, the pretty, young widow and her two daughters are returning to the lush countryside of Pleasant Valley, where Karen grew up. In this verdant, fertile place, Karen hopes to find not only a refuge from urban chaos, but love, for she is going home to marry her high school sweetheart.
But something sinister awaits her. Something as primal as nature, as demonic as hell itself. For long ago, a shadowy menace stalked Pleasant Valley. A menace forgotten, thought dead. But only sleeping.
Now Karen's homecoming will become a confrontation with terror as she battles to protect her daughters from a malign, preternatural force that must satisfy its gruesome thirst for innocent prey . . .
Though Saul ( Guardian ) has kept up with readers' tastes by depicting far more graphic violence than he did years back, he still offers the sort of old-fashioned terrors, told without a whisper of literary experimentation, that for 17 years have made him the most consistently bestselling horror writer next to King and Koontz. His 18th novel, no exception, is a snappily paced extravaganza of insect phobia, featuring a mad scientist who doubles as a serial killer, hordes of creepy-crawlies and some threatened kids--here, teens in the oven-hot flatlands of California's San Joaquin Valley. Julie Spellman, 15, thinks she has it bad being forced to move from L.A. to the farm where her mom's new husband lives. But her real trouble starts when Carl Henderson, a crazed entomologist with a lethal thing for girls with long dark hair, arranges for the brunette newcomer to get a shot of his latest concoction. Soon the girl is gestating a swarm of mutant insects that controls her mind, grants her dominion over other insects and forces her to implant the swarm into other teens. Meanwhile, Henderson chortles as he listens to the screams of his latest homicide victim, under attack from his pet ants: ``Eaten alive! She was actually being eaten alive! '' Onslaughts of bees, termites, spiders and scorpions round out the somewhat repetitive but always intense action, which, despite an unexpectedly dark ending, will no doubt send sales of this novel--and cans of Raid--soaring.