Title: Lasher
Author: Anne Rice
Date fo Publication: 1991
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Characters: Michael Curry, Aaron Lightner, Mona, Rowan, Lasher, Beatrice Mayfair, Julien Mayfair, Mary Beth Mayfair, Dr. Samuel Larkin, Yuri DeStefano, Emaleth, Ancient Evelyn Mayfair, Stella Mayfair, Ryan Mayfair, Pierce Mayfair, Marie Claudette, Marguerite, Katherine

Summary: Rowan and Lasher have been moving place to place. Lasher continues to rape Rowan in the hopes of making a child, to continue his race. Meanwhile Mona Mayfair, a 13-year-old cousin of Rowan's, is making plans to sleep with Michael, since that's what she does. Michael does end up sleeping with her, though is incredibly regretful about it. Rowan's relatives Pierce and his father Ryan, and Aaron continue to search for Rowan. Yuri, a good friend of Aaron's is also involved, and later falls in love with little Mona. Rowan's old friend from San Francisco, a neurosurgen like herself, has been hired by the family to find out what's wrong with the Mayfair line, genetically. Dr. Samuel Larkin find out that some Mayfairs, Rowan and Mona included, have a double helix which allows them to produce, if coupled with someone else with the strange helix, a large child of a different, though similar, race. These beings, Lasher included, are taller and fairer, so very easily spotted. While all this is happening, Rowan is still with Lasher, having been tied to a bed for 4 days without food or water. When Lasher returns, he untied her and feeds her and tells her that she is pregnant with his daugher, Emaleth. She them hits him hard on the head with the back of a toilet repeatedly and flees the room they were in, comforting the child inside her belly. Rowan hitches a ride with a truckdriver but must get out in the middle of nowhere to give birth to the child. Emaleth grows up right away of course and calls for help. Rowan is delivered to First Street to Michael's relief, though she is extremenly malnourished and pale, having lost much blood in several untreated miscarriages. Because of this, she is given an emergency historectimy. Emaleth is out with some man partying. Meanwhile, Lasher has been visiting any Mayfair women and coupling with them, trying to produce children but to no avail. He kills any woman he sleeps with who does not have the double-helix. These women include Gifford, Ryan's wife, and her sister Alicia, Mona alcoholic mother. Though Mona is not phased by her mother's death, she does becomes quite ready to help in the investigation of Lasher and becomes remorseful in her behaviour with Michael, now that Rowan is back, though on the brink of death. Finally Lasher comes to the First Street house and tells Michael and Aaron and two other unwelcome men from the Talamasca (from which Aaron and his novice Yuri have been expelled) his story. He says he was Saint Ashlar arisen and born of Anne Boleyn and murdered for beeing a Taltos. Michael believes him full of shit and after accidentally killing the other Talamascans, kills Lasher with a hammer and buries him out back. After all that, Rowan comes to to receive breast milk from her daugher Emaleth, which revives Rowan, and with Michael as a witness, Rowan shoots Emaleth dead and buries her.

Quotes from Lasher

"... she looked at Uncle Michael lying there, hie profile deep in the snow-white cotton cover of the down pillow, dark lashes and eyebrows surprisingly distinct. Very much a man, just a smidgen more testosterone and you would have had a barrel-chested ape with bushy eyebrows. But there had not been that smidgen. Perfection had been the result."

- p.o.v. Mona.

"It is a terrible thing to realize that you depend so much upon another; that your entire sense of well-being is connected to that one�that you need him, love him, that he is the chief witness of your life. Yuri was disappointed in himself and leery. But this was the realization."

-Yuri p.o.v.

"She did not look at her face; she never did anymore because it wasn't her face, it was someone else's old wrinkled face, with deep vertical lines, very solemn and cold, and drooping lids, and the skin was too large for the bones underneath, and her eyebrows and her chin had lost thheir contour."

- Ancient Evelyn p.o.v.

"...though it loves us and needs us�it also hates us."

- Marie Claudette.

"I knew nothing else, nothing unbounded and purgatorial as what I have since suffered. Mine was the na�vet� of the living; now it is the confusion and the longing of the dead."

- Julien, p. 355

"I saw my definition of virtue. To be good, to love, to father, to mother, to nurture, to heal. I saw it in its shining simplicity. "What can you do, you fool?" I asked myself. "Except keep your family safe, give them the means to live on their own, strong and healthy and good. Give them the conscience and protect them from evil."

- Julien, p. 369

"There isn't anybody, darling. That's the secret of the universe," he said. "That's my theme, that is my cry. That is my message."

-Lasher, p. 100-101

"...a man in the hand is worth two ghosts in a dream."

-Mona p. 32

"It's no wonder we all marry our cousins; we don't want to bring in the innocents. When you marry a Mayfair, you should be a Mayfair. You have lots of blood on your hands."

-Gifford p. 68

"the family was not just the family to them; it was the clan; the nation; the religion; the obsession."

- Gifford p. 90