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About the Author

Richard Laymon was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up in California. Four of his books have been shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award, which he won in 2001 with THE TRAVELLING VAMPIRE SHOW. Among his many acclaimed works of horror and suspense are THE STAKE, SAVAGE, AFTER MIDNIGHT and the four novels in the Beast House Chronicles: THE CELLAR, THE BEAST HOUSE, THE MIDNIGHT TOUR and FRIDAY NIGHT IN BEAST HOUSE. He died in February 2001.

Reviews

One of the benefits of Dorchester's ambitious horror lineÄthe only such line from a major American publisherÄis the return of Laymon to domestic mass market. Laymon's vigorous, daring tales were popular here in the 1980s, but recently he has been overlooked by mainstream American houses (though he sells well in Britain and is published here by specialty houses, e.g., Cemetery Dance, The Midnight Tour, 1998). It's a shame, then, that his reentry to our paperback racks comes with this novel (published in Britain in 1996), not one of his best. A kind of sequel to The Stake (1991), the story opens as Santa Monica narrator Sam, 26, is visited by old flame Cat: she wants him to kill Elliot, an unwelcome nightly visitor whom she claims is a vampire. Sam agrees, slaying Elliot with a stake in a scene that, typical for Laymon, is bloody, tinged with eroticism and unfolds a whisker away from black humor. The remainder of the novel details Sam and Cat's violent misadventures, including run-ins with homicidal drifters, as they try to dispose of the body. There's some thematic play about the vampire in us all, and Laymon's writing is as crisp and gleefully malevolent as ever, but the characters are thin and the plotting is too linear, incident piled upon incident, dissipating suspense. Still, Laymon fans won't want to miss this one. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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