When a rifle range accident leaves Dean Howell disfigured and in a vegetative state, his wife Sarah finds her dreary life in Pine Cone, Alabama made even worse. After long and tedious days on the assembly line, she returns home to care for her corpse-like husband while enduring her loathsome and hateful mother-in-law, Jo. Jo blames the entire town for her son's mishap, and when she gives a strange piece of jewelry to the man she believes most responsible, a series of gruesome deaths is set in motion. Sarah believes the amulet has something to do with the rising body count, but no one will believe her. As the inexplicable murders continue, Sarah and her friend Becca Blair have no choice but to track down the amulet themselves, before it's too late...
Michael McDowell (1950-1999) is best known for his screenplays to the films Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but he was also the author of several excellent and underrated Southern Gothic horror novels, of which The Amulet (1979) was the first. Originally published as a pulp paperback, now scarce and long out-of-print, McDowell's grimly humorous and delightfully horrific novel returns in this edition, which features a new introduction by Poppy Z. Brite.
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