When one of their classmates suddenly disappears into thin air, the lives of a group of twelve-year-old boys in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois are about to change dramatically.
During the summer holiday, Mike, Dale, Lawrence, Kevin, Jim Harlen and Duane set out investigating Tubby Cooke's mysterious disappearance and are plunged into an adventure they never bargained for.
Sure, the plot of the story has Stephen King written all over it. Still it is a very thrilling, well-written book, although I could not help wondering if the average eleven-year-old boy is as clever and daring as Mike and his friends are. I mean, would you drive your father's four-ton milk truck straight into your old school and shoot at your former principal with your grandma’s squirrel gun, even if he turns out to be an instrument of Evil?
The book's actual strength though is not its plot, but the way the principal characters are portrayed and the vivid descriptions of rural life in a small American town in the 1960's. The book almost reads like a film. You can easily picture yourself riding your bike along with the boys, hiding in one of their secret Camps or playing ball in the park.
Not that many writers share Simmons' rare talent for character portrayal, especially in the field of horror and SF.
If you are curious to know what became of some of the heroes in "Summer of Night" you might like to read "Children of the Night" (Mike O'Rourke) and "A Winter Haunting" (Dale Stewart).