4.5 stars rounded up!
Wow! This was my first Richard Laymon novel and I was not disappointed. I know Laymon has a bit of a bad reputation (as in, he’s known for writing trashy horror), so I was a bit hesitant when starting this short tale of a few people lost in the woods and on the run from an incestuous family of cannibals that . . . practice witchcraft? I think?
Oh, and the Devil shows up too. In literal monster form.
Needless to say, this thing is intense. I could not — and did not — want to put it down.
The whole time I was reading, I felt like I was reading Jack Ketchum’s Off Season (which is funny, since they were both published in 1981), only I enjoyed this one much more. Maybe it’s because I was able to sympathize more with the characters, despite Ketchum arguably fleshing his creations out more. I dunno. Laymon did a good job, here, of giving me just enough information to make the characters distinctive and likable without getting bogged down in back story. This one is all action, all horror, from the start.
Easily the scariest book I’ve read this month thus far, I liked this one much more than I expected and I hope to squeeze in another Laymon before the end of March.