(1935- ) US writer whose work has tended to cross genres, mixing horror, fantasy and thriller modes, as in his first novel, Damon (1975), in which a geographically scattered group of children attain full adult physical growth and sexuality by the age of four, then develop Talents; the theme is not especially fresh, but is nicely handled. Death Knell (1977) – sometimes wrongly described as a YA novel – is a grim tale of quasi-Possession, in which the teenaged daughter of a German officer seems taken over by the vengeful spirit of a victim of the Holocaust (> World War II). Cross Currents (1979) centres on the latest of a series of Reincarnations of Christ, each of whom has died violently before his 33rd birthday. CTC is a writer who seldom fails to be interesting, though his earlier work has a fire missing from his later. If his themes may often be familiar, he intriguingly works them fully out: unlike many writers, he declines to take the easy plotting option. And there is always the scent of the Fantastic in his work – even in a straightforward thriller like Missing Persons (1982). [JC/JG]
other works: Mindreader (1981), whose protagonist boasts the Talent described in the title; The Attorney Conspiracy (1983); Prey (1985); Quarry (1987); Reaper (1989).
Charles Terry Jr Cline