The Desecration of Susan Browning by Russell Martin (1981): Lost Her Soul, Doomed and Cold
Featuring the least impressive of cover art of Russell Martin's books from Playboy Press, The Desecration of Susan Browning is a decently agreeable paperback original horror/erotic thriller. With liberal dashes of titillation, a stale if well-handled and mild "satanic" cult angle, painfully dated gender stereotypes, it's written pretty good with a bit of a knowing wink. Nothing too special is going on - it's certainly not "scary as hell!" - but Martin keeps the storyline hopping with the promise of illicit sex and sacrificial death; me, I liked the sleazy detective playing both sides just so he can get a little girly action. By the time poor hapless Susan Browning finds herself lying on a cot in a freezing room, shaved bare from the neck down, awaiting the unthinkable at the hands of a powerful and mesmerizing occult leader, you'll swear you can't wait to read Martin's other books. Or you'll at least add them to your ever-growing "must-read" list. If you want more Desecration, check out this in-depth review at William Malmborg's blog.