Originally published in 1987, this is one of Joe R. Lansdale’s earlier works and it shows. Filled with cheesy dialogue and cardboard cutout characters and scares that fall flat, this is a dated and torturous read that is perhaps best left in the past.
This is a chase novel. Taking place over the span of three days, main characters Monty and Becky are staying at some friends’ cabin in an attempt at relaxing and getting over a recent rough patch in their marriage: Becky was raped and almost murdered by a gang of teenage boys, and they are coming after her again. The fight is on.
Luckily this novel is short and pretty compulsively readable — it isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also not challenging and easy enough to finish. As I loved Lansdale’s story collection, By Bizarre Hands (which features a chapter from this book), I was unpleasantly surprised to find I didn’t much care for The Nightrunners. It didn’t scare me; it only annoyed and disappointed.
This book is readable and maybe recommendable if you’re looking for something quick, and perhaps a bit of cheesy fun. But certainly buy it used and do not start reading Lansdale here.