I read the first 40 or 50 pages of this prior to highschool, so maybe 1987. I think it was probably first released in paperback right around then, since I was too young to go to the used bookstore by myself. Probably the sort of thing that would have made it onto the limited shelfspace of a drugstore at the time, what they'd call “airport novels” now.

The first few pages recounted a flashback of a Nazi death camp, and how the Americans discovered several dead Nazis after liberating it, their corpses having a gray clay-like substance smeared on them.

It then cuts to a murder investigation in a big American city (I think NYC, but don't hold me to that), where bodies are discovered with similar markings.

I stopped reading right about then, and it never occurred to me at the time what the big mystery was meant to be. Now, in retrospect, it's quite obviously a “golem”. Hey, it was decades before Wikipedia would make such knowledge common.

  • Sounds a lot like The Golems of Gotham- unfortunately published far too recently.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 3:02
  • Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I can't derive the "quite obviously a golem" from your first 3 paragraphs.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 15:34
  • Enemies of the jews, dead mysteriously, gray clay all over their corpses? I didn't finish the book, so maybe you're right. That'd be amusing.
    – John O
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 18:59
  • Man I read that book in 1981 or 82' while tripping on mourning glory seeds . Freaked me right the heck out let me tell you never forgot that book since ! It's about some Jews in a Nazi Concentration Camp and they're Rabbi was able to transfer his spirit or a spirit I dont remember it was a long time ago but he transfer this spirit into this giant clay creature and they use it to escape the camp and they make it to America to New York city and they take this creature with them. They use this creature to attack gangs and certain individuals that were considered to be criminals . This creature wo
    – user50527
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


That sounds like The Tribe by Bari Wood.

  • Nice. Barely gave you anything to go on, this must be it. The Amazon review comments leave no doubt.
    – John O
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 19:03

Closest I've found was Golem100 [first print, 1980]; and it does involve murders in a modern city, and police. I can't seem to 'snag' an ebook copy to verify the flashback.

Taking place in a city of the future, a group of bored wealthy women begin dabbling in ancient satanic rituals, unaware that their rites are actually working. The beast of pure evil, Golem100, is raised each time the group practices their ritual, embarking on a rampage of rape, torture and murder. The demon is tracked through the physical and spirit worlds by Gretchen Nunn, a master of psychodynamics, Blaise Shima, a brilliant and famous chemist, and a clever local police officer, Subadar Ind'dni.

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  • 1
    This was published in paperback runs as late as 1989. So, could have been a 'new' book in 1987. Just not a first-print. Also, author died in 1987.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 3:59
  • I don't think this was it, at least that wasn't the cover... but they would have run it with new artwork several times, I bet. Still... the title, I think it might have been something more boring. This thing read almost like a murder mystery/thriller.
    – John O
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 4:02
  • 1
    Apparently the cover was the only generally-liked part of the book, and seemed to be consistently with it. Ah well, worth a shot.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 4:05
  • The Golem is another iffy maybe.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 4:10

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