THE THIRD STORY
Robert J. Janes.
Volume 11 Number 4.
Like his earlier works The Toy Shop (PaperJacks, 1981) and The Watcher,* J. Robert Janes' latest novel is a horror-suspense thriller, set rather vaguely in modem Toronto. The plot, too complex to be summed up in few words, concerns a popular writer named Robin Morris whose tales of brutal rape-murders seem bizarrely close to actual events. During the course of the novel, it becomes apparent that what Robin writes comes true; hence his dilemma when he falls in love with Heather, the living heroine of his novel-in-progress, and desperately tries to save her from what seems a grisly preordained fate. Innumerable twists and coincidences complicate the plot, and few of them are adequately explained. Janes does achieve a constant mood of suspense through his cliff-hanger style of divided narration. His efforts to make the characters in the story three-dimensional and believable fail, however, because their thoughts and actions are unnaturally contorted to support the far-fetched and sensational plot. The gratuitous violence and sadistic images that abound in this book will offend many readers. Not recommended.
*Reviewed vol. XI/1 January 1983 p.15.
Leslie A. McGrath, Toronto, ON.
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