is a horror-crime novel by Michael Slade
, released in 1987. Inspector Zinc Chandler of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is closing in on a serial killer; across the pond, Hilary Rand of Scotland Yard is working on a similar case. A fast-paced horror classic.
Some tropes appearing in the novel include:
- Abusive Parents: Several, but Saxon's mother and stepfather are particularly vile.
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The Headhunters, although with a twist: they're all gay.
- Author Tract: While more mild than some, the conversation between Zinc and Caradon during their stakeout. They discuss the psychology of horror fans and the possibility that someone with violent tendencies might take the fantasy too far. Also a form of Foreshadowing.
- Bait-and-Switch: Since it's a twisty-mystery-thriller, the book does this frequently.
- Big Bad: Played with. For most of the story, it seems to be Raymond Hengler, mob boss and backer of a mysterious Snuff Film. Then the game changes.
- Boom, Headshot!: Frequently, particularly Mohawk.
- Buried Alive: Saxon.
- Bury Your Gays : Jack Ohm's MO, stemming from extreme homophobia. He bombs an HIV support group and a gay bath house.
- BrotherSister Incest : Rika and Saxon Hyde. Also, allegedly, Elena and Enoch, Saxon and Rika's mentally ill parents.
- Chekhov's Gun: Cleavage, of all things.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the characters, but particularly Deborah and Zinc.
- Driven to Suicide: Roland Fletcher. Elena, although she had good reason.
- Eldritch Abomination: Both The Ghoul and the creatures that are trying to "break through."
- Freudian Excuse: Saxon. And how. Also Deborah and, to an extent, Zinc.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Elaine Teeze. She's one of Saxon's personalities, representing the disease he thinks he has.
- Police Procedural: A mix of this and Serial Killer mystery/thriller.
- Prison Rape: Happens to Hengler.
- Serial Killer: Several. Subverted, however in that all of the killers are the same person, suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Lots of each.
- Shout-Out: To Alice Cooper, Alfred Hitchcock, H. P. Lovecraft, Alice in Wonderland, and many horror films and books.
- Stage Name: Erika Zann (Rika) and Axel Crypt (Saxon).
- Sunglasses at Night: Sid Jinks, at the club.
- The Informant: Jennie Copp. It ends badly.
- The Vamp: Rika Hyde, Rosanna Keate, and Deborah's romance-author alter-ego, Corinne Grey.