cover image Eat the Dark

Eat the Dark

Joe Schreiber, . . Del Rey, $12.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-345-48750-6

Set in what appears to be Pennsylvania, Schreiber's sturdy second novel (after Chasing the Dead ) features a classic thriller premise: people trapped in an enclosed space with a serial killer on the loose. When the police bring Frank Snow, a ruthless and possibly supernatural mass murderer, to soon-to-be abandoned Tanglewood Memorial Hospital for an MRI, Snow, of course, escapes and starts dismembering people. Security guard Mike Hughes, along with his wife and son, must travel through the hospital to find a way out. Cast members who are more than mere victims include the enigmatic Dr. Walker; the requisite beautiful woman, Jolie Braun, who may be having an affair with Mike; and the ghost of a suicidal ICU nurse. Luckily, there's a deeper mystery involving Dr. Walker and Snow, but unluckily it turns out to be irrelevant and ordinary. Working from the principle that less is more, Schreiber offers a lean scare tale that will resonate with slasher-film fans in particular. (Oct.)