Monday, February 17, 2014

This Devil's Work

Last week I received an email from a TMHF reader asking for help identifying a half-remembered horror novel from the '70s or maybe '80s. Thanks to her clue of the title - a name like Luka - I recalled recently seeing the cover for a book called Lupe, a mainstream thriller/horror/occult novel by somebody named Gene Thompson (actually a writer of TV classix like "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Gilligan's Island"), published in mass market paperback by Ballantine in 1978. Turns out that was the right one!

The back cover makes it sound like pretty standard post Rosemary's Baby/Exorcist-style bestseller fiction, with its historical prologue and afterward, a modern woman suddenly at odds with the supernatural. Dig the none-too-tasteless bit about "a grotesque eleven-year-old boy with a demonic sexual craving"! You've got the rave blurbs from horror fiction experts like Newsweek and Cleveland Plains Dealer (oh and New York Post, what the eff are "the bejabbers"?!). Add in a creepy-kid stepback cover and you have a pretty decent example of paperback horror fiction of the 1970s.

And this is the generic 1977 hardcover from Random House:


So a reminder: any of you TMHF readers out there looking for a book you read years and years and even decades ago, don't hesitate to email me about it! I love a good challenge....

5 comments:

Tim Whitcher said...

I had a friend who's mother read horror novels back in the late '70s. She'd give them to sixteen year old me when she finished them. I remember reading this one. Some really twisted satanic sexual perversion in this one!

Space-Badger13 said...

I read this one not too long ago - it was horrible! You do have rape by a maybe dead/maybe demon child in a tomb. Most of it actually turns out to be a courtroom drama where they try to convict her of killing her husband's mistress by being a witch. Not really what I was expecting from the cover and the description.

Rob K. said...

I thought it was okay. Not too great but I wouldn't call it "horrible." Dark ending. Reread it a few yrs ago - had originally read in the late 70's or early 80's.

Unknown said...

The principal of my Catholic High School in Whitby, Ontario, Canada took this away from me and cautioned me against reading such things. Love her!

Lawrence EdwardLay said...

Was this an omen ripoff?