Picks and Pans Review: Bay of Souls

updated 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Robert Stone

As any well-traveled adulterer will tell you, when the Other Woman is possessed, it's probably best to end the affair. In this short, twisted cautionary tale, life-bored college professor Michael Ahearn falls for kinky colleague Lara Purcell and all but ignores his wife and young son. Then things start getting messy: Lara brings him to her haunted Caribbean home. There he meets supernatural nasty Baron Samedi, who wants Michael's mistress for himself.

National Book Award-winner Stone (Dog Soldiers) has often documented the moral and sexual turbulence of thinking men's men. In this Fatal Attraction with a voodoo twist, the philosophizing can be dull. But the book works as a sexy, psychological thrill ride in which a philanderer doesn't just need a lawyer—he needs an exorcist. (Houghton Mifflin, $25)

BOTTOM LINE: Big bad voodoo dandy

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