Mulengro is a keeper, and it would make a great movie, too. This book, published in 1985, is going into new editions due to the well-deserved fame of its Canadian author, Charles de Lint. De Lint has no fewer than eight books on the Modern Library's Readers' List of the Top 100 Best Novels. No other author can match that, and this particular book, Mulengro is #95. A native of Ottawa, de Lint sets this book in Ontario, mostly in the rural areas to the south. The mystery in this dark and terrifying book revolves around the Gypsy clans who live in Ontario--and who are being targeted and brutally murdered.
After the fifth murder, police detectives Briggs and Sandler are finally beginning to figure out that something creepy and unnatural is going on. They have the Gypsy sign drawn next to the bodies, drifting fog around the killer, the lack of any metal in the gruesome wounds. No witnesses have seen animals, despite the bestial nature of the wounds. Most important, the witnesses have died, too, some with no discernable cause of death. They narrow down their search to the Gypsy community, but how is the killer doing it?
De Lint is fond of following multiple characters whose stories tie together, and Mulengro follows that plan. Janfri is the first person we meet. As a successful violin recording artist, Janfri has straddled the Gaje (non-Gypsy) and Rom (Gypsy) worlds for years, but when his house burns down, he questions himself--has he lost himself among the Gaje? Is he still Rom? His search becomes more urgent when he realizes he is being targeted by the killer. Finally convinced that magic is at work, Janfri seeks out ostracized "wise woman" Ola's help, but Ola has been having trouble of her own, and is running in fear for her life. When the detectives come to suspect Janfri, every one of these people eventually come together at a remote lake for an explosive, horrific but satisfying conclusion. ~ Tessa