Jessica Phillip's Reviews > The Doll Who Ate His Mother

The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Ramsey Campbell
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's review
Feb 02, 2011

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bookshelves: fiction, horror
Read on February 02, 2011

Not since H.P. Lovecrafthas there been such a master of the macabre on the literary scene as Ramsey Campbell.
Clare Frayn is a stumpy little school-teacher whose only seeming grace is the understanding and love she has for Rob, her wild, undisciplined brother. Late one night, knowing that her brakes are faulty, she drives him home through the rain-drenched streets of Liverpool. A man steps in front of her car. Her brakes fail, and in her wild maneuvering to bring the car back under control, Rob is killed in a monstrous way. Her grief is enormous, matched only by the enormity of her guilt, which prods her into a sometimes halting, stumbling search for the man who deliberately walked in front of her car.
Clare is bullied into a partnership with a seedy crime reporter, Edmund Hall, who knows a great deal about the man she is looking for. She is befriended by Chris Barrow, who is a delightful, charming and helpful young man, but equally self-serving. Only George Pugh, the owner of a rundown movie house, seems to want to be of real help. Clare is too infatuated with Chris, too afraid of Edmund Hall, and too grateful to George Pugh to see into the stygian depths of the mind of one of them. It is only when she has a terror-wracked confrontation in a moldy cellar that she learns why her brother died.
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