In the Dark of the Night

John Saul, Author . Ballantine $25.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-345-48701-8

At the start of this unoriginal but undeniably creepy horror chiller from bestseller Saul (Perfect Nightmare ), Eric Brewster and two high school pals, Kent Newell and Tad Sparks, are looking forward to a summer vacation with their families in picturesque Phantom Lake, Wis. The Brewsters have rented Pinecrest, an age-blackened old house once the home of Dr. Hector Darby, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances seven years before. Eric's mother, Merrill, has a bad feeling about the house, as well she should, but the rest of the family is insistent, so she goes along with the plan. Once at Pinecrest, Eric and friends discover a secret room in the carriage house, a room filled with deadly surgical instruments, medical files, books and artifacts relating to Dr. Darby's research into the minds of serial killers. The boys begin to hear strange voices and experience terrifying dreams. Or are the dreams real? It's more YA novel than adult, but Saul has been in the business long enough to know how to send shivers up the spines of readers of any age. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/05/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
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