One Rainy Night - Richard Laymon ****
I have been a Laymon fan for a number of years since first picking up 'Island', but after a while all his books seemed to blend into one. The last few that I have read (including Beast House) have all failed to grip me and dare I say it, become a little boring.
Fortunately One Rainy Night offered something a little bit different and was just enough to make me want to rediscover Laymon. Obviously all of his books follow a distinct pattern whereby the reader can expect to find gratuitous violence, rape and occasionally incest or paedophilia. Some people rate his books low as they cannot handle the subject matter but most readers these days seem to know what to expect.
This novel is no exception, containing graphic rape scenes and killings galore. A local black lad is burnt alive by a gang, and starts with the investigation into the killing just beginning. However two days later a thick black rain descends upon the town, turning whoever it touches into a psychopathic killer with a lust for blood. Some people welcome this change in their personality while other try to remain safe and look out for the safety of others. What Laymon attempts to convey to us is that whatever bad things can happen to us in life, it is our underlying morals that will steer any decisions we make.
The novel follows 4 groups of individual parties and explores how they cope with the deadly precipitation. I won't give away any spoilers but there are a number of twists and turns that will keep the pages turning (although I feel the ending was a little weak and not too hard to work out).
Well worth a read and an ideal introduction to the author.