When a dead prostitute is found floating in the river, the local police assume it's just another routine murder. But when it turns out the woman may have been a notorious East German spy, General Charles Kirk and his assistants, Michael Howard and Penny Wise, are called in from the Foreign Intelligence Office to investigate. Kirk is baffled: the evidence of numerous impeccable witnesses proves the murder could not possibly have happened, and yet there's a dead body in the morgue to show that it did. The only clue is a wooden idol in the form of a hideous, misshapen boy, found in the dead woman's room. Soon Kirk realizes that this is no case of espionage: what he is up against is an evil centuries old and long thought vanished from the earth. And when Kirk and his colleagues get close to the truth, can they unravel the mystery before they become the next victims?
John Blackburn (1923-1993) was the author of nearly thirty popular thrillers in which he blended the genres of mystery, horror, and science fiction in unique and often brilliant ways. Although recognized as the best British horror writer of his time, his works have been sadly neglected since his death. This new edition of Broken Boy (1959), Blackburn's third novel, includes a new introduction by Greg Gbur.
“Our only current writer who can induce such terror as the Grimm Brothers did.” - Times Literary Supplement
“A real chiller. . . . The book moves rapidly from beginning to end and Hitchcock ought to be advised. It would make a heck of a movie.” - Evening News
“He is certainly the best British novelist in his field and deserves the widest recognition.” - Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural