Richard Laymon's 'Blood Games': A Review

If you haven't guessed, Richard Laymon is my favorite among favorites when it comes to writers. I'm going to do everything I can to bring some attention to this underrated master of gore. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet him...Anyway, since Laymon inspired me to begin writing reviews, it is my duty to pay homage to the man. This time around, I want to introduce you to 'Blood Games'.

'Blood Games' is about the antics of five female friends: Abilene, Vivian, Cora, Helen and Finley and their (mis)adventures together. The five got to know each other at Belmore University where they saved and supported one another and took revenge on ex-boyfriends, school faculty and even townspeople who are deserving a bite of some humble pie. After graduation, the girls vow to always keep their friendships alive. Eventually, they decide to get together once a year and go on an adventure, with each year a different girl picks the destination. This year, the choice belongs to Helen. As a lover of the macabre and all things horrific, she decided that camping at the abandoned and haunted Totem Pole Lodge is a perfect choice. The girls take advantage of the solitude. Drinking, skinny dipping and reminiscing are all on the itinerary until an unwelcome visitor makes his presence known. Spooked by the sighting, the girls feel safer sleeping in the woods. When only four of them wake up, they launch a desperate search to find their missing piece. As the girls wander deeper in the woods, they realize how alone they never were. As danger lurks around every corner.

The book is a great addition to any book collection. I really only have two real issues with the story. The story really takes some umph to get through the beginning. It moves at such a sluggish pace. My other issue is there are too many characters too soon. As the book opens, you're thrown right in the middle of five chatter boxes without knowing anything about anybody and it's hard to keep the characters straight. However, as the story moves forward, you watch the characters bloom and grow into five very different women. It almost leaves you with the feeling that you're growing with each character. Once each girl becomes distinguishable, then the story really picks up and the pages fly. While this novel isn't as gory as his other novels, it's still just on the fun side of raunchy. You'll certainly enjoy this one as it has a little something for everyone. I'm giving this novel four stars for pushing past the sluggish beginning and blossoming into a really bloody flower.

Blood Games
Blood Games

While this novel got very mixed reviews, it's still worth the time to check out.

 

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