Jack Erthmun ,the protagonist of this book ,is an NYPD homicide detective of deeply unothodox hue.A sufferer from echolalia-a tendency to repeat the last words of what the last person said to him -he is withdrawn ,solitary and has working methods that trouble his superiors.He seems almost to bond with the dead-------he "hears" them speak andthey feed him clues .
He is assigned to a series of notably brutal killings--the victims have chocolate stuffed into their mouths and have been cannibalised.The slayers are a series of women who are clearly not of natural origin ,and there are clear signs that Jack himself is linked in some way to them ,and may himself be the product of a union between his mother and one of these creatures who home is in the woods near the family residence in the Adirondacks.
The book -initially tightly controlled and unsettling -spirals out of control and gets more and more ambiguous as it develops .Indeed the open ended conclusion suggests to me that Mr Wright himself did not know how to end the book .
Some scenes are of a gut clenching intensity that belies the author's reputation as a purveyor of "quiet horror" but overall this book confirmed my view of the author from previous encounters-that he is pretentious and does not possess a strong narrative sense.
Others -it is clear from the reviews on this page -rate the book highly but I do not recommend it to devotees of horror fiction who like emphasis on plot and narrative as it sems to me to be deficient in these matters