Night of Demons Matches the Original
Ever since I read Dark Rain, I've been looking forward to reading its sequel. I even said so in my review of that book. Now, I've had my chance and I wasn't disappointed. Night of Demons can be best described as Law and Order meets the X-files, and then it escalates into sheer terror and mayhem. Once more, Tony Richards takes us back to Raine's Landing for a few fantastic days in the lives of detective Ross DeVries and the magically-inclined inhabitants of that locked-away town.
The story begins like a police procedural with serial killer Cornelius Hanlon, dubbed the "Shadow Man," escaping from Boston police, taking a wrong turn and ending up in Raine's Landing. His first act upon arriving is to murder one of the town's leading adepts and steal a mystical wand--the Wand of Dantiere. Created by a madman, no one is aware it was created to bring about the Apocalypse and can only bond with someone who is insane. In Hanlon, it meets its soulmate, and soon more deaths ensue, ordinary people turning into psychotic killers who are reluctantly gunned down by the Landing's police. When Hanlon joins forces with Millicent Tollburn, who has her own reasons for hating the townsfolk, the crimes, which up until this point are merely those of people
running amok, become full-fledged horror, and before it ends, a rift in dimensions showers thousands of demonic creatures upon the town as Hanlon's version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse thunder down its streets.
Enter Lauren Brennan, Detective Lieutenant of the Boston Police, a woman so obsessed with tracking down Hanlon, she ignores the subliminal warnings to stay away from the Landing. By this time, Ross DeVries and his associate Cassie and Landing police Lieutenant Saul Hobart are on the case.
When he first meets Lauren Brennan, Ross is momentarily shaken, for she bears a startling resemblance to his missing wife, Alicia, and throughout the story, his attraction to her is evident. Considering this, when he invites her to stay at his home, one automatically expects a seduction scene, a brief respite of release in the midst of all the horror, but Ross has the emotional stability to understand Lauren isn't Alicia no matter how much she looks like her and his fidelity to his absent wife prevents him from acting. Though Lauren at first treats the Landing's police force like country bumpkins, once she's exposed to what passes for everyday life in the little town, she quickly changes her opinion. The Outsider joins forces with the Landing's PD in fighting what Hanlon has become.
Kudos, Tony! I enjoyed every page of Demon Night and all I can say is, it matches its predecessor in tension, good characterization, and sheer excitement. Now, of course, I'm begging for a third book.
The writer of this review was given an Advance Review Copy of the novel by the author.