Keeper of the Children by William H. Hallahan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When photographer Eddie Benson returns home from an assignment, he finds that his daughter Renni is a beggar, part of a cult run by an ex-monk. When the police won't do anything, Eddie takes matters in his own hands, ready to fight fire with fire...
After seeing this in Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction, I showed the cover to my wife. Weeks later, it showed up in our mailbox. The moral of the story is it pays to show your wife pictures of awesome paperbacks from the 70s.
Beneath the striking cover is a bizarre tale of ex-Buddhist monks, astral projection, telekinesis, and mind control. I had no idea the story would take the turn it did, turning Eddie Benson into some kind of Doctor Strange in preparation for his battle with Kheim, the monk.
With the scarecrow murder scene and the cover, I should have surmised what direction the book would take but I was still surprised. Benson's training reminded me of Doctor Strange so much I had to interrupt my wife's reading to tell her about it. She was probably curious about why I was muttering "That's so fucked up" anyway.
I was a little surprised Benson didn't run into Dormammu or the Mindless Ones while he was learning about astral travel. The ending was a mix of gore and bizarro action. It was extremely satisfying.
It wasn't a fantastic book but I liked it and there were aspects I never through I'd see in a horror novel. Hell, I'd read another book about Eddie Benson. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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