Subterranean Press $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-892284-54-9
Written when Garton (Biofire, Forecasts, Jan. 18) was only 20, and published previously in mass market in 1984, the author's first novel hints at his flair for believable backdrop and empathetic characters. High school English teacher Donald Ellis is possessed of ESP and bedeviled by sleep-robbing nightmares. Donald knows that something has gone terribly wrong in his community, and the suspense builds as he is driven to the verge of madness trying to figure out what it is. Then people, including Donald's brother, begin disappearing, leaving no remains except copious amounts of blood soaking their beds. Freddie Santos, a lovely 19-year-old young woman also endowed with ESP, appears to assist Donald as he discovers the horrifying truth. Perhaps in 1984 the gimmick of human-appearing creatures possessing sexual organs with teeth that would devour their victims during copulation was original. Now, though, the concept comes off as clich d, and a bit silly. It's interesting and, for students of horror, useful to see a writer's beginnings and to read a novel that was considered disgustingly shocking for its era, but Garton's full talent didn't surface until later works such as Lot Lizards and Live Girls. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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