My mock-up cover for one of my favourite novels, and one that pretty much finished off my obsession with crime fiction, because after this, anything else in that genre looks utterly feeble, making this the literary equivalent of Fun House by The Stooges. Once exprienced, nothing else is going to come close. Drawing on the mythology – as opposed to the “facts” – of the Manson Family, it stages a symbolic Armageddon in the desert wastelands of southern California and central to it all is the fallen angel Case, a reformed heroin addict who was once groomed into a gang of murderous Satanists by its Luciferean leader Cyrus. When that same gang murder an ageing cop’s estranged wife and new partner, and abduct his beloved teenage daughter, the stage is set for total mayhem happening at a breakneck speed. While at the same time completely over-the-top and yet horribly plausible, Teran’s story is a deeply moral one, with real consequences for all concerned. No-one is innocent. A film version has been made, with an impressive cast, and directed by Nick Casavettes. I really hope they’ve done the book justice, because if they have then it could be one of those once-in-a-decade action films that we rarely get anymore.

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