Richard Laymon, Among the Missing (Leisure, 1999)
[originally posted 28Mar2002]
And miles to go before I sleep.
photo credit: Fantastic Fiction
Richard Laymon has been churning out suspense and horror novels since what seems like the dawn of history now, and yet is just this side of unknown in his native land. Across the pond, they can’t get enough of him; few Laymon novels don’t get a first press in England that outstrips his total American sales. (This, thankfully, may be changing; his 1998 novel Bite hovered around the edges of a few bestseller lists before fading into American obscurity, at least.) Once again, the Americans are missing out. I’ve never read a Laymon novel that hasn’t at least been a kick in the pants. The best of them are a right cross to the jaw (Tread Softly, the Beast House novels, etc.). Among the Missing, on the physicality scale, is probably an uppercut to the ribcage; it’s pretty durned good, but straight suspense just isn’t what I expect from a guy whose books tend to be populated with mutants, inbreds, vengeful ghosts, etc. Call it my unpreparedness rather than any defect on Laymon’s part that this book didn’t get a higher rating.
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