Review: "Midnight's Lair" by Richard Laymon

“If you’ve missed Laymon, you’ve missed a treat!”
– Stephen King


Richard Laymon’s Midnight’s Lair was first published, as by Richard Kelly, in the United Kingdom in 1988. In the United States it was one of Laymon’s rare hardcover releases, published by St. Martin’s Press in 1993. It’s a classic Laymon horror novel – hardboiled, fast moving, depraved, almost pornographic in a teenage boy way, and entertaining. It’s the reading equivalent of watching a violent and fun midnight movie at a discount theater.
      Darcy Raines is a college student working the summer at Mordock’s Cavern as a tour guide. While Darcy is conducting a tour, the cave’s lights flicker and die. When the back-up generator fails to bring the lights back, Darcy tries to lead her group back to the elevators that will take them to the surface. But the trip isn’t easy. The cave’s owner’s son, Kyle Mordock, can’t keep his eyes off Darcy while the lights were on and with the darkness his inhibitions disappear. There are the expected creepy-crawlies, made scarier by the dark, but the real danger is from the cave’s unknown inhabitants.
      Midnight’s Lair is a gory, at times, grotesque slasher horror novel that reads like a disaster film cut-up by a psychotic killer before being devoured by cannibals. There are several uncomfortable and violent sex scenes – easily skipped if needed – and some stomach-turning physical violence. Laymon interlaces the gross and cleverly revealed clues and character emotion (mostly Darcy’s) to ratchet the suspense tighter and tighter. Midnight’s Lair should be approached with caution, but for fans of Laymon, or the slasher genre at large, every misguided word is a treasure.

Check out Amazon’s page for Midnight’s Lair



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