Richard Laymon's 'One Rainy Night': A Review
One Rainy Night
There are two things that I really admire about Richard Laymon. First, his ability to make his characters jump off the page. Second, how the pace of the tale starts pumping from page one and doesn't stop until the last drop of blood is spilled. Laymon's dark imagination edges on obsession with the most savage of human instincts. He's not afraid to explore the goriest, raunchiest or downright awful aspects of human nature. The most disturbing thought of all is that I can picture him writing such graphic stories with a smile on his face. 'One Rainy Night' is the perfect example to support this conclusion.
The busy city of Bixby is a thriving community with a love thy neighbor attitude. Until a grisly murder shatters Bixby's very foundation. As a poor African American boy lays dead in a football field, thick, black rain begins to fall. Many brush it off as a case of acid rain, until those caught in the downpour start attacking people at random. Laymon zooms in on a local police officer named Trevor. Trevor is busy attending to his duties at the station when a group of citizens driven wild from the rain break in. Saving a mother and daughter, who were being questioned about the murder, decides to head out into the storm. Denise and her boyfriend, Tom, are babysitting Kara while her parents go out for a nice dinner. Lighting a fire, popping popcorn and starting a movie, the group settle in for cozy evening. That is until a group of bloodthirsty creatures knock on the door. Kara's parents, John and Lynn, are in a lovely restaurant about to enjoy their meal when a horde break past the doors. All around, healthy people are being ravaged sexually and dispatched ruthlessly.
Overall, Laymon's attempt at a pseudo-zombie tale is a successful one. The non stop onslaught of page turning action and surprises make the story addicting and cement Laymon among the best writers of all time. Characters almost leap from the pages. Kara could almost be the bratty little sister that I never had, and John could be the cool neighbor I've always wanted. My imagination ran wild with the vivid imagery that Laymon claims complete mastery of. One of his best books, this is one that I would recommend for anyone looking for a new author to worship. A very solid 5 star story.
There is no excuse for missing this gem. Especially when you can find it for as low as a penny!