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Richard Laymon's 'Endless Night'. A Novice Review
Jodey Fargo is smart, tough, resourceful, instinctive and has the survival instinct of a tiger. The kind of girl who gives her all and isn't one to back down from adversity. Which is precisely why Simon Quirt, a merciless serial killer, is obsessed with her. He's been lusting for both her body and her life, and he'll stop at nothing until he gets them both.
Jodey is soundly sleeping at a girlfriends house when Simon and his band of blood thirsty savages break in. She manages to escape as the family is violently destroyed in the most ruthless of ways. While the family is brutally destroyed, Jodey barely escapes with her own life. Fortunately, the killers haven't found the family's youngest boy and he also escapes with Jodey's help. Her efforts are almost in vain when she's spotted by Simon's crew. As the chase ensues, we can't help but watch as Jodey uses all her skills to escape her murderous pursuers. Simon, fearing punishment from his fellow gang members, is sent out to find Jodey and put her in a position where she'll never speak of the atrocities committed inside the house.
The characters are well written and believable. Jodey may be a natural born fighter, but that doesn't mean that she can't be beaten, bruised or cut. Her human believability grows as her wounds get deeper. While she tries hard to be the logical adult, her naivety and youthful spunk keep finding their way to the surface. Letting small things like condom wrappers in hotel waste baskets get under her skin is a prime example. Simon is actually quite different from Jodey. He's sly, unashamed, and driven. Although brutal in his methods, he is the comic relief through the whole story. You'll find yourself giggling to yourself repeatedly as he admires himself as a hot babe. Yes you read that right. Straight as an arrow, Simon acknowledges what drastic measures he must take to keep himself alive. If you're a normal human being, Simon will earn your undying hatred, but at the same time, you'll keep reading just to see what kind of hijinks he gets involved in.
Endless Night has a very quick pace. There are a few chapters in the middle that are a little slower, but overall it's a very quick read. I finished the story in about three days. I found it incredibly difficult to put the book down. Richard Laymon really knows how to draw the reader into his sick and twisted world. As entertaining as it is, his world is one that I don't mind revisiting, no matter how inconceivable it may be.
If you are a sensitive person or have a weak stomach, by all means skip this novel. Richard Laymon doesn't shy away when it comes to story telling. Oceans of blood spilled, bodies violated and mutilated, all with so little remorse it will generally disgust even the thickest of skins. This story really brings out the evil that lurks in some people's minds. It's truly scary to know that they're might actually be a group of of homicidal maniacs living in your hometown.
Laymon really knows how to toy with your mind. He can disgust and intrigue you, arouse and repulse you, excite and frighten you all at once. With Endless Night, he really brought his magic to life. For the believable characters, insane mental twists, fast paced addictive story. Laymon knows just how to mix the right amount of humor (dark) with chills in just the right places that really makes it feel like the story come to life. For all the wonderful things that Richard brings to the literary world, this novel ranks four out of five.