Allhallow’s Eve

February 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

eveAllhallow’s Eve by Richard Laymon


It turns out that reading two books by Richard Laymon at the same time is not a good idea. I have this one in print, since I couldn’t find an ebook edition, and I read it as I was reading Dark Mountain. It was kind of tough shifting gears from one to the other, since Laymon’s stories all have a similar style and feel.

In this novel, people are being invited to a Halloween party that’s to take place in a house that’s been abandoned for fifteen years after a grisly multiple murder took place there. Strange things have been happening in this town, though, as a spinster who lives on the edge of town, along with the chief of police, are murdered two nights before Halloween.

Like Laymon’s other books, this is a pretty breezy read. The characterization is improving, as I noticed that each character was pretty distinct. I had a hard time following who was who based on their names, but I didn’t have trouble tracking characters by their actions and dialogue. I figure this is a pretty good skill for a writer to have, and Laymon had it in his previous books, even if I didn’t notice it at the time.

Surprisingly, the book has a lot less sex and violence than Laymon’s other books. Most of the characters are in high school, so I guess he veered away from his normal explicit sex scenes, and the violence was contained to just a few portions of the story. Much of the book centered around high school life, and being the kid who’s small, bookish, and bullied. The rest of the book is about the investigation into the murders that took place at the start of the story.

The book ends rather suddenly, turning the antagonist and protagonist of the story around. You’d think that would set the book above standard horror fare, but for some reason, it doesn’t have the expected effect. I get the feeling that in a month or two, I’ll forget a lot of the details about this book, and not just because I read it alongside Dark Mountain. I get the feeling that will be the case with most of Laymon’s novels.

It’s weird that this book is pedestrian and forgettable, even if it’s a better effort than the other books I’ve read of Laymon’s thus far. This gives me a little hope. I’ve read a few articles about the author that declare Stake as his best novel, and I’m slowly making my way toward it.

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