LEGIONWilliam Peter Blatty
Pocket Books
1983

This sequel to The Exorcist (the book anyway) finds Lt. Kinderman on a truly mystifying and bizarre case. First, a young boy is found gruesomely crucified. Than, a priest is found decapitated ina confessional. Both bear the unmistakable mark of the Gemini Killer, a psychopathic murderer who has been dead for the last twelve years. As Kindermen delves deeper into this mystery, he discovers a supernatural evil with ties to his previous case in The Exorcist, ties that lead him to a derelict John Doe in Cell Twelve of the hospital’s psychiatric ward…a derelict that looks like Father Karras…

I would describe this book as being equal parts murder mystery, supernatural thriller, and existentialistic horror rolled into one fine novel. Having never read the original novel The Exorcist, Legion (which, for all intents and purposes, was made into the second sequel to the movie version in 1990) has solidified my resolve to scout out that book as well. Lt. Kinderman is one of the more interesting characters I’ve come across; his almost lucid musings and diatribes on the nature of God, the supernatural, evil and humanity made me think, which is rare in modern horror fiction. Blatty doesn’t hold back in the supernatural department, either (there’s a scene where Kinderman’s being chased by a ward of catatonic psychiatric patients that left me a bit unnerved). The only gripe I have is that, in the end, the book seemed to resolve everything a little too easily. More of a small pop than a big bang. Otherwise, excellent book. And to think, this book had been moldering away in my parent’s basement for 20 years before I discovered it. Glad I did. Highly recommended…