In this sequel to The Talisman (both co-written with Peter Straub), Jack Sawyer is now in his late thirties and has taken early retirement from the LAPD, retreating to a small town in Wisconsin. He has no memory of his adventures as a twelve-year-old boy, when he traveled into a parallel universe in search of the talisman that would save his mother's life. A series of murders involving young children force him out of retirement. There is more to these cases than murder, though, and Jack must retrieve his childhood memories to rescue the latest victim, who is coveted by the killer's evil overlord, a powerful force from End-World, in Roland the gunslinger's universe.
“Eye of the King,” she repeats, and now it starts with the hands: kneading and twisting and squeezing and digging. “Abbalah! Foxes down foxholes! Abbalah-doon, the Crimson King! Rats in their ratholes! Abbalah Munshun! The King is in his Tower, eating bread and honey! The Breakers in the basement, making all the money!”
Seriously (but her eyes are sparkling), Sophie says: “Yet if you were a patient, you would think it beautiful out of all measure. And you would think your nurses, the Little Sisters, the most beautiful any poor patient ever had.” Jack looks around. “Where are they?” “The Little Sisters don’t come out when the sun shines. And if we wish to continue our lives with the blessing, Jack, we’ll be gone our separate ways from here long before dark.” It pains him to hear her talk of separate ways, even though he knows it’s inevitable. The pain doesn’t dampen his curiosity, however; once a coppiceman, it seems, always a coppiceman. “Why?” “Because the Little Sisters are vampires, and their patients never get well.”
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