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When a scientist's wife is injured by a basilisk he faces a terrible choice...let her die, or join with its creator to breed more killers. Nathan Underhill is right out at the cutting edge of stem-cell research: attempting to recreate mythological creatures such as gryphons and gargoyles in order to cure medical conditions like Alzheimer's and MS. After five years of research, however, his latest experiment fails, and he loses his funding. But when his doctor wife Grace loses an elderly patient in unusual circumstances, Nathan suspects that somebody else has been trying to breed mythical hybrids...and succeeded. Nathan and Grace investigate, and discover that Doctor Zauber, owner of the local care home, has brought to life one of the most dangerous creatures of medieval times - the basilisk, which could reputedly kill any living thing with a single stare. Grace narrowly escapes being killed, but she is put into a coma. Nathan is faced with an impossible dilemma - lose Grace for ever, or enter into an unholy alliance with Doctor Zauber to breed more mythological beasts, at the cost of many more human lives.
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"Masterton puts realistic, carefully drawn characters into bizarre, otherworldly situations and lets us watch what happens to them. This novel is lighter than most of his work but just as suspenseful and just as frightening" Booklist on House of Bones "This disturbing concoction blends metaphysical musing with old-fashioned blood and guts. Not for the faint-hearted" Kirkus Reviews on The Painted Man "Masterton's edge-of-the-seat storytelling and sympathetic characters make for a compelling read" Library Journal on Edgewise"

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