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Man rejuvenates himself by drawing victims

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Nov 2, 4:28pm Top

Hi everyone
I'm a new member here joining out of desperation as I'm trying to remember a book I read but cannot bring to mind either author or title. I'll give as much detail of the story as I can and if anyone can help me out I will be ever grateful.

It's probably a horror story.

The man in the story is very old and dying (of cancer I think). However, he appears to look much younger as he has found a way to rejuvenate himself via the teaching of a voodoo chief many years ago. He has to draw a perfect picture of his victim and then he buries this picture in a casket or box. As the picture rots, the victim (still living and unaware of their fate) begins to decay until they finally die. As the victim is dying the man rejuvenates and this cycle continues again with the next victim. He gets caught out though because his last victim turns the tables on him.

The last victim he draws encounters his previous victim who has shut herself away in a house (as she is near death). She tells this new victim that she must draw him accurately and bury the picture - thus taking his place. When she completes the drawing the previous victim slashes her with a knife and this renders his drawing as damaged. He then decays and she carries on, finding herself her own victims.

No idea when it was written but I vaguely remember reading it late 1990s - 2000 ish.

I hope this is enough detail.

Thank you for any help with this - it really is driving me nuts! :)

Nov 3, 7:21am Top

The Golden Key has a plot vaguely like that, but it takes place in a Renaissance fantasy world and there's no voodoo.

Nov 5, 6:15am Top

Thank you, Cecrow. Not the right book - this is not a period novel - but I appreciate you taking the time to try and help.

Nov 10, 7:13am Top

Bumping in the hopes anyone might be able to help?

Nov 10, 11:51am Top

This reminds me of The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque.

Nov 10, 5:40pm Top

Thank you, SJaneDoe.
Not the book but an interesting title anyway.
I wish I could remember more detail or even something from the title but, alas, I guess I'll be forever looking.

Nov 12, 2:22pm Top

reminds me of the Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

Edited: Nov 16, 12:20pm Top

I wonder if Brood of the Witch-Queen by Sax Rohmer didn't have a short part that had something like that (cursed painting weakening the victim) ?
But it was only a short part, in a hodgepodge of horror elements, and the characters and how they turned out in the end were probably different so I don't think it's it.

Nov 18, 1:45pm Top

Thank you Mairef and Jarandel.

Definitely not Dorian Grey but I got quite excited by the next suggestion. However, the victims in my novel weakened and decayed as the picture rotted away in the ground. Almost, I suppose, like the victim was buried alive in their own picture (if that makes sense?) but only the picture was buried. The victims just slowly decayed as they lived without really knowing why. I think the man confessed to the last but one victim and she was then able to warn the final one and turn the tables on the man.

I really wish I could remember more. Please keep reading and looking folks as I do appreciate your efforts.

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