By Richard Laymon
A Leisure Book, 378 pp, 1999
The first Laymon book I read was a
creepy vampire novel called The
Stake. That was several years ago, but I remember liking it very
Bite begins with a surprise visit from
26-year-old Sam's former high school flame - Cat. He never stopped
loving her, but she moved to Seattle and he hasn't heard from her in
She has an interesting proposition. He
needs to help her kill a vampire who's been sucking her blood for a
Naturally, Sam goes. He doesn't
believe her (although she's got the obligatory bite marks), but he
cannot resist being with her.
Well, it turns out there is a vampire,
albeit one with steel teeth, and Sam and Cat kill him, quite messily.
There's plenty of blood and guts in this first scene and throughout the
But the vampire (his name is Elliot)
doesn't crumble into dust like in the movies. So now they need to
dispose of the body. And that's were the real action starts.
Sam and Cat decide to take the body
out of state and bury it in some barren, desolated outpost. But they
pick up a white-haired drifter who calls himself Snow White, who proves
to be a load of trouble. Throw in two teenage runaways, and the book
becomes a compelling chase novel, and the vampire Elliot fades into the
background, until the very end.
Despite the title, this really isn't a
vampire novel, and that disappointed me at first. But I got over it as I
read more. The book is fast, reads well, and filled with dark humor.
Laymon does an especially nice job of using dialogue to reveal the
characters and move the action.
This is a great book with several
suspenseful scenes and a knockout beginning. I'll have to read more