Jack-in-the-Box by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of JACK-IN-THE-BOX by William Johnstone.
I believe this is the first horror novel by this author I have read, but it's so definitely impacted me that I'm on a quest to read them all. JACK-IN-THE-BOX is set in Connecticut and Manhattan. The horror is wonderfully implacable and inescapable, as the protagonist discovers much to his dismay. The daughter of a wealthy, hard-charging, Manhattan attorney is, on the surface, a pathological liar, which her father Philip and older brother Phil recognize and acknowledge. Her mother Jeanne, however, is blind to Nora's failings, even to the extent of strongly considering divorce. Imagine any parent who believes her or his child can do no wrong, and is contemptuous of anyone who believes differently, and you'll comprehend Jeanne Baxter.
However, Nora is not only a liar. Nora is the spawn of Satan, and I say that not figuratively but literally. As the story unfolds, we learn that Nora is not an isolated example. The author also weaves in Nazism, both in the Third Reich era, but also in contemporary New York City, exorcism, Vietnam [as past history], and practice of the occult, including black magic. Of course, the eponymous jack-in-the-box is a main character throughout, a depository of pure Satanic evil, which is brought into the story by the protagonist, the ill-fated Philip Baxter.
I found this novel a definite page-turner, and my interest never flagged.
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