Alarums

      Richard Laymon
Alarums

Melanie Conway is a pale and lovely violinist who has strange visions of death. When she crashes to the floor during a concert her boyfriend, Bodie, is at hand to hear her fearful premonition of disaster... Penelope Conway is even more stunning than her sister but her looks frequently get her into trouble. Although she takes herself seriously as a writer, men only seem impressed by her beauty. The last thing she needs is a series of obscene phone calls... Captivated by these two alluring sisters, Bodie finds himself drawn deep into a strange mystery that is fired by sex and haunted by blood.
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    The Halloween Mouse

      Richard Laymon
The Halloween Mouse

From Publishers Weekly

Here's another Halloween offering from Cemetery Dance, which, with last year's anthology October Dreams and the forthcoming anthology Trick or Treat, plus last year's Richard Laymon novel, Once Upon a Halloween, is emerging as a notable publisher of Halloween-related fiction. This is a slight tale, suitable for all ages but of primary interest to kids, about the adventures of one Timothy Maywood Usher Mouse. Timothy lives in a public library and yearns for the sort of adventure he's read about in the books that surround him. One day he works up his courage and leaves his shelter through a window, only to encounter a snake (that he fools with a piece of candy corn), trick-or-treaters and a cat, which he escapes by taking refuge in a jack-o'-lantern that rolls into a local river. When last seen, Timothy is sailing to unknown shores, enjoying the world from his perch atop the jack-o'-lantern's nose. Laymon, who died in February, is known for his meandering, you-are-there plots and tight, sensual writing. Here, though, the meandering seems almost arbitrary, offering just one obstacle after another thrown in the path of the intrepid mouse, and the prose lacks Laymon's usual punch and precision. Much more effective are Clark's full-color illustrations, which capture the mystery, magic and delicious terror of Halloween via bold, intense colors and dramatic angles of view. While it's not a major addition to Halloweeniana, this volume will appeal to Laymon completists, Clark fans and anyone who can't get enough of America's second-favorite holiday.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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    Once Upon a Halloween

      Richard Laymon
Once Upon a Halloween

It's Halloween night. The old Witherspoon house stands all alone in the dark, the last house on a dead-end street. Its only neighbors are thick woods and a moonlit graveyard. Not long ago, a grisly murder/suicide took place in the house. Now, it is said to be haunted.
Haunted but no longer abandoned. Three years ago, Laura and Shannon moved in. They're young, pretty, friendly... and, best of all, generous with candy on Halloween. Tonight, they're getting ready for a costume party. Shannon is upstairs getting dressed and Laura is downstairs handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
It's a perfect Halloween night until Laura opens the door and finds herself facing a lone teenaged boy... a terrified boy who says: "Let me in! They're gonna get me!"
And, for Laura and Shannon, the party begins.
It's Halloween night and there are ghosts and goblins in the streets. And something much worse in the graveyard.

***

From Publishers Weekly
Laymon and Halloween. That sounds like a perfect mix, with the author of the gleefully malevolent The Traveling Vampire Show (Forecasts, Apr. 24) taking on the spookiest night of the year. But his fans know that Laymon can be erratic, sometimes delivering shocking yet emotionally astute entertainments, at other times turning in tangled terrors drenched in sex and gore. The latter, unfortunately, more closely describes his new novel, despite its fast, smart start, in which horror descends like a howling banshee on two young women dispensing candy to trick-or-treaters. A teen boy, Hunter, comes banging on Shannon and Laura's door, claiming he's being chased by a pack of naked adults-witches? Soon the house is under attack by nude sword- and axe-wielding maniacs. A local dad escorting a bunch of kids gets caught in the ensuing mayhem, which features numerous cuttings and, in time, the spectacle of Shannon and Laura stripped and trussed together in the local graveyard as the villains prepare for human sacrifice. Laymon ups the ante to supernatural horror by tossing in a homicidal spirit who's haunting Shannon and Laura's house, but that element only adds to the confusion already made rampant through frenzied racing and chasing by too many characters who don't grow from beginning to end, despite their ordeals. Laymon boasts an intensely loyal following, so this novel will likely sell out its limited print run, but while his fans will love the richly depicted seasonal setting and Laymon's ability to make pages riffle as if in high wind, they'll also sense that, ultimately, this is one sputtering jack o'lantern.

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    The Cobra

      Richard Laymon
The Cobra

Blake Douglas was a smart undercover cop. He knew he had only one chance to bust this group of terrorists. He'd have to become the Cobra---their top assassin. But he couldn't have known how attracted he'd be to one of the terrorists. What was he going to do about Lana?

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    Blood Games

      Richard Laymon
Blood Games

They meet up for one week every year: Helen, Cora, Vivian, Finley and Abilene - five former co-eds in search of thrills and adventure. Just like they enjoyed together at college. This time it's Helen's choice. Helen, the fat girl with a taste for horror, the brainy one with a fear of being caught alone in the shower by an unknown assailant with a sharp knife and a thirst for blood...
For this year's reunion, Helen has picked The Totem Pole Lodge, a deserted hotel in the backwoods with a sinister past. She's looking forward to the moment when she'll tell the others the gory details. But that's before night falls and the girls find the Lodge is not as deserted as they thought. And before Helen goes into the shower. Alone.

***

From Publishers Weekly
In the early 1990s, as the horror market bottomed in the U.S., several established American authors, including Laymon (To Wake the Dead, etc.), were unable to find domestic publishers for their work. Laymon continued to hit bestseller lists overseas during this period, though, and this is one of the novels he wrote during that time. Like so much of his mid-career work, it's a middling effort, and it's also a mixed bag-nearly literally, as it offers a present-day scenario interspersed with flashbacks that are, in effect, standalone short stories. In the present, five young alumni of Belmore University are on their annual get-together; this year, the choice of what to do has fallen to Helen, a horror buff, who arranges for the group to camp out at a deserted backwoods lodge where guests were slaughtered by locals several years back. In time, the group encounter various townsfolk, including a witch, whom they must fight for their lives, resulting in a characteristic Laymon bloodbath. The action here is fast but predictable. Of greater interest are the flashbacks, showing first how the gang got together, then detailing their various exploits-taking revenge on some frat guys by setting fire to their house, on a cruel dean by trashing her office, on a nasty homeowner on Halloween by destroying his living room; seducing a young male surfer during a foggy nighttime trip along the California coast, etc. It's in these scenes that Laymon displays some, but not much, of the surreal nightmarish sensibility that hallmarked his great later work (The Traveling Vampire Show, etc.). Overall, then, this is brisk but routine entertainment from the controversial author, who died in 2001.

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    Quake

      Richard Laymon
Quake

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
For Stanley, the earthquake is a heaven-sent opportunity. Just before it struck, he was ogling Sheila, a female jogger, and that's not all he'd like to do to her. Now the city lies in ruins, and Sheila lies trapped and naked in her bathtub. Can her husband make it to her before Stanley does?

***

From Publishers Weekly
In this above-average disaster thriller, Sheila Banner is looking forward to a long, relaxing bath when a massive earthquake hits southern California, trapping her in the tub, naked but intact under two fallen beams. Meanwhile, Sheila's husband, Clint, is stranded at work, his car sitting behind a pair of powerless electronic security gates, while their daughter, Barbara, along with three classmates, is caught in a speeding car with a panicky teacher at the wheel. Through alternating chapters, Laymon (Savage) tells these three tales of survival in his customary speedy, whip-lean prose, eschewing descriptions of fallen bridges and highways to focus on the disintegration of humanity, the violence and predation unleashed by the quake. The imagery is graphic-roving gangs stripping and mutilating the bodies of the living as well as the dead-but, as in the best of Laymon's work, like The Stake, there's an edge of black humor to the proceedings, a faint cackle in the background. Still, this is strong, disturbing fare, not for the thin-skinned.

***

From Library Journal
Stanley Banks is not the neighbor one would want when Los Angeles is hit by "the Big One," the earthquake that destroys the sprawling city. In the quake's aftermath, the thin veneer that keeps the savages civilized crumbles almost as fast as the real estate. The Banner family is scattered when it hits, and Sheila Banner is trapped in a tub under the wreckage of her house when Stanley, her psychopathic admirer, finds her. Meanwhile, Clint and daughter Barbara are separately struggling to get home to Sheila, walking through Los Angeles while fleeing and fighting gangs that rob, rape, murder, and mutilate. Laymon (Savage, LJ 12/93) expertly lays on the horror here, and at times his Los Angeles seems to have been invaded by aliens, so quickly have the residents turned savage. Horror fans will find this hard to put down. Strongly recommended for public libraries.

***

From Booklist
Anarchy reigns supreme and altruism is obsolete in Laymon's novel about "the big one." The book opens minutes before an earthquake hits Southern California with the force of an atom bomb. We often hear heartwarming tales of neighbors reaching out to each other and communities pulling together in the wake of sudden disaster. Concentrating on one family, the Banners, whose members are caught on opposite sides of the city by their daily routines, Laymon throws all that out the window, portraying instead a world where normal people become panicked maniacs, perverts find the opportunities to act out their fantasies, and the stable and sane find it increasingly difficult to stay that way. Laymon writes well enough to maintain interest in the fates of the characters, and all the jumping back and forth among the separate Banners' various venues isn't as distracting as you might think. All in all, horror and suspense fans will be satisfied.

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    Friday Night in Beast House

      Richard Laymon
Friday Night in Beast House

From Publishers Weekly

In February of this year, Laymon, then president of the Horror Writers Association, died of a heart attack at age 53. A few weeks ago, the last of his novels to be published before his death, The Traveling Vampire Show, won the HWA's Stoker Award for best novel of the year. Soon after Laymon died, Cemetery Dance, which issued that award winner, brought out Night in the Lonesome October. But it turns out that wasn't the last we'll see of Laymon, nor is this new, enjoyable short novel. The Beast House Chronicles, launched in 1979, made Laymon's reputation. This novella is the slightest of the series four entries, emotionally as well as in page length, but it features all the trademark Laymon touches. There's a horny teen protagonist, Mark, and a spooky adventure, as Mark accepts the dare of the girl of his wet dreams, Alison, that he help her sneak into Beast House, scene of several horrific murders during past decades and now a major tourist attraction in the small West Coast town where it stands. There are plenty of suspenseful and scary moments as Mark breaks into the Beast House and hides in the Beast Hole, and a particularly shocking twist at book's end. Above all, there's that inimitable Laymon style, the use of simple, strong sentences to construct, via extraordinarily vivid sensual detail, a narrative that envelops the reader in a moment by moment revelation of events in the service of a story that's terrific, nasty fun. All Laymon fans and anyone who likes horror served with a cackle are going to like this one.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Terrific, nasty fun. All Laymon fans and anyone who likes horror served with a cackle are going to like this one.” —Publishers Weekly

“One of horror’s rarest talents.”—Publishers Weekly

“If you’ve missed Laymon, you’ve missed a treat!” —Stephen King

“All Laymon fans and anyone who likes horror served with a cackle are going to like this one.” – Publishers Weekly

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    Out Are the Lights

      Richard Laymon
Out Are the Lights

The Vampire movie came first - the girl died in a welter of blood as the vampire bit clean through her jugular...
The Inquisition came next - the victim confessed all as the spider crawled over her naked body...
Then came the story of the Ax-man...
This was the horror-movie series to end them all. Cinema buffs particularly admired the grainy, amateurish camera work - it suggested the action was the real thing. But it couldn't be - could it?

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