The Crazies

     One Rainy Night - Richard Laymon 5/5 Stars


      If you've missed Laymon you've missed a treat. No truer words have ever been spoken when it comes to the late Richard Laymon. He was a man that delved into the darkest parts of the human soul and showed us that the greatest monsters are actually ourselves. One Rainy Night seems to show Laymon at a point in his career where he wanted to give everyone what he was accused of giving them. A total gorefest without any real characters or purpose. It would seem on the surface that One Rainy Night is just Richard Laymon being Richard Laymon. Horror that has all the charm and subtlety of a chainsaw cutting into your stomach. He's a hack after all right? I have read tons and tons of reviews of Laymon's work and all of the bad ones all tell us this.

     One Rainy Night is by far one of the greatest books that Laymon has ever written. All of the key elements are there and we see that not much has changed. Laymon is still violent, and it would seem that he doesn't like women all that much, The thing is that the book has an interesting premise and yes, it's by far the most violent Laymon book that I've read so far. The very idea that the rain is causing these people to become homicidal maniacs is intriguing but then you have the the survivors who are simply trying to survive. It's that element that keeps the pages turning. Why is this happening? Laymon has taken something simple and turned it sinister. Every time it rains my heart beats a little faster.

     Laymon knows how to keep a story moving. The pace just never lets up and you almost feel as if you should stop just to catch your breath. He knows how to weave a story and even at its most brutal and shocking it's impossible to look away. At its core, One Rainy Night is a tale of revenge. As the plot unfolds the reasoning behind the rain becomes clear. The ending did feel a bit rushed, but it's still a damn fine read that once again shows us that given the right conditions the real monsters are ourselves. Laymon knows exactly what his fans expect and this one ups the ante a little. For Laymon fans this is classic Laymon that delivers, but if you're not a fan, you're not going to like it and will tell as many people that will listen that he's overrated and not worth the praise that writers like myself continue to heap upon him. This one is what splatterpunk is all about it. This is Stephen King without a conscience my friends.