I’m looking to identify a novel I looked at around the years of 1995 to 1998. The book may have been written before that, but the mass-market paperback appeared to be brand new. I have the unconfirmable impression that the person I was seeing at the time had recently purchased it.
The title was misleading and gave me the impression it was about medical or biological oriented horror, but that was not the case at all. I have a vague recollection of something like “Contagion”, “Infection”, but my web searches have not yielded anything close to those. I’m mentioning however, because I do have the strong memory of reading the title and thinking it didn’t match what little I read of the story. The cover had the colors white and red predominantly and a symbol or icon that suggested something medical related, which again, didn’t seem to be the case at all.
To eliminate a few wrong tracks, it was NOT zombie related at all, and the focus of the story was mostly on one female protagonist. So despite what I wrote about the title, it wasn’t about a large population affected by a plague or anything like that.
There was a strong sexual element. I’m not sure I would categorize it as anything romantic or seductive, but there were sex scenes.
What I could pick up on of an over-arching theme was that the main female character had some evil threat or presence either growing inside of her or associated with her due to sexual contact (i.e. similar but not identical to the movie It Follows). The main character is described as having large breasts, as part of the character backstory and dealt with the awkwardness and problems this caused her in high school and led to objectification and problems in adulthood. It wasn’t what I describe as a cheap publication from an adult store, but something you’d find in a grocery store in the 90’s from a major publisher.
I didn’t skim enough to get a better sense of the threat, but I recall peeking at the ending and the source of the “evil” was a school English teacher who took advantage of the main character’s trust and was pretty freaky.