Laymon, Richard (Carl) 1947-2001 (Richard Kelly, Carl Laymon, Lee Davis Willoughby, Carla Laymon, pseudonyms)
LAYMON, Richard (Carl) 1947-2001 (Richard Kelly, Carl Laymon, Lee Davis Willoughby, Carla Laymon, pseudonyms)
PERSONAL: Born January 14, 1947, in Chicago, IL; died of a heart attack, February 14, 2001; married, 1976; wife's name Ann; children: Kelly (daughter). Education: Willamette University, B.A.; Loyola University (Los Angeles, CA), M.A.
CAREER: Author. Worked as a teacher, librarian, editor, and legal writer.
MEMBER: Horror Writers Association of America (president).
AWARDS, HONORS: Best Horror Novel, Science Fiction Chronicle, 1988, for Flesh; Bram Stoker Award, 2001, for The Traveling Vampire Show.
(As Carl Laymon) Your Secret Admirer (young adult), Scholastic (New York, NY), 1980.
The Woods Are Dark, Warner (New York, NY), 1981, revised edition, Headline (London, England), 1991.
Out Are the Lights, Warner (New York, NY), 1982.
(As Carl Laymon) Nightmare Lake (young adult), Dell (New York, NY), 1983.
(As Lee Davis Willoughby) The Lawmen, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.
The Intruder, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1984.
Night Show, New English Library (London, England), 1984, Tor (New York, NY), 1986.
Dawson City, Prentice Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1984.
(As Carla Laymon) A Stranger's Arms, Blue Heron Press, 1984.
Thin Air, David S. Lake Publishers (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Beware!, New English Library (London, England), 1985, Paperjacks (New York, NY), 1987.
Last Hand, Prentice Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1985.
Cardiac Arrest, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 1985.
The Night Creature, David S. Lake Publishers (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Cobra, David S. Lake Publishers (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Allhallows Eve, New English Library (London, England), 1985.
The Beast, David S. Lake Publishers (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Caller, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Guts, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 1985.
Marathon, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 1985.
The Return, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 1986.
Tread Softly, Tor, 1987.
The Halloween Hunt, David S. Lake Publishers (Belmont, CA), 1986.
Beginner's Luck, Prentice Hall, 1986.
(As Richard Kelly) Tread Softly, W. H. Allen (London, England), 1992, (as Richard Laymon) published as Dark Mountain, Headline (London, England), 1992.
(As Richard Kelly) Midnight's Lair, W. H. Allen (London, England), 1988, (as Richard Laymon) Headline (London, England), 1992, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.
Flesh, Tor (New York, NY), 1988. Resurrection Dreams, W. H. Allen (London, England), 1988.
Funland, W. H. Allen (London, England), 1989.
The Stake, Headline (London, England), 1990, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
One Rainy Night, Headline (London, England), 1991.
Darkness, Tell Us, Headline (London, England), 1991, Leisure (New York, NY), 2003.
Blood Games, Headline (London, England), 1992.
Alarms, M. V. Ziesing (Shingletown, CA), 1992.
Endless Night, Headline (London, England), 1993.
In the Dark, Headline (London, England), 1994, Dorchester Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.
The Quake, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Island, Headline (London, England), 1995, Leisure (New York, NY), 2002.
Body Rides, Headline (London, England), 1996. Bite, Headline (London, England), 1996.
Endless Night, Headline (London, England), 1998.
The Wilds, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1998.
Cuts (signed limited edition and deluxe lettered edition), Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1999.
Come Out Tonight (signed limited edition and deluxe lettered edition), Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1999.
Night Ride, Econo-Clad Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.
Night Games, Econo-Clad Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.
Noche Infinita, Downtown Book Center, Inc., 2000.
Among the Missing, Dorchester Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.
The Traveling Vampire Show, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2000.
Once upon a Halloween, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2000.
Lonely One, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 2001.
Live Bait, Fearon (Belmont, CA), 2001.
Night in the Lonesome October, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2001.
No Sanctuary, Leisure (New York, NY), 2003.
To Wake the Dead, Leisure (New York, NY), 2003.
"BEAST HOUSE CHRONICLES" SERIES
The Cellar, Warner (New York, NY), 1980.
The Beast House, New English Library (London, England), 1986, deluxe lettered edition, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1998.
The Midnight Tour, (deluxe lettered edition), Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1998.
Friday Night in Beast House, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2001.
Out Are the Lights and Other Tales (stories), Headline (London, England), 1993.
A Good, Secret Place (stories; signed limited edition), Deadline Press, 1993.
Fiends (stories), Headline (London, England), 1997.
A Writer's Tale (guide/autobiography; signed limited edition), Deadline Press, 1999.
(Editor) Bad News (stories; signed deluxe lettered edition), Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 1999.
Skull Full of Spurs: A Roundup of Weird Westerns (stories), Dark Highway Press, 2000.
(With others) Grave Tales (stories), Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2000.
The Halloween Mouse (juvenile), illustrated by Alan M. Clark, Cemetery Dance Publications (Abingdon, MD), 2001.
Author of afterword, Seductions, by Ray Garton, Subterranean Press, 1999; author of introductions, No Rest for the Wicked (collection), by Brian Keene, Vox 13 Publishing, 2001, and Such a Good Girl and Other Crime Stories, edited by Edward J. Gorman, Five Star (Unity, ME), 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock, and to anthologies, including Modern Master of Horror, The Second Black Lizard Anthology of Crime, and Night Visions 7.
SIDELIGHTS: Horror writer Richard Laymon was born in the United States, but he experienced his greatest popularity in England, Australia, and parts of Europe and was just beginning to increase his following in this country when he died of a massive heart attack at age fifty-three. Laymon wrote as Carl Laymon for his young adult novels, Your Secret Admirer and Nightmare Lake. He used Carla Laymon for his contemporary romance, A Stranger's Arms, and for his western, The Lawmen, he was Lee Davis Willoughby. He wrote several books suitable for young children, but, for the most part, Laymon's stories are filled with violence, sex, sadism, cannibalism, vampirism, and other threads to be found in the horror genre. Many of his earlier works have been reprinted by Cemetery Dance and other American publishers.
The Cellar was Laymon's first novel, and the first of four about Beast House, where a slimy below-ground creature kills any man who enters and sexually enslaves its female captives. Larry, who had lost a friend to the fiend years earlier, his new friend Jud, and Donna, who is fleeing from her child-molester husband Roy, team up to try to defeat the beast. The story provides graphic accounts of Roy's crimes, including murder. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "for readers whose stomachs have endured the gore, there's an unexpected conclusion to this blood-drenched thriller."
The Woods Are Dark is set in California and features an alien that exerts mental control over the locals. In Out Are the Lights, the Haunted Palace movie theater has been running a series of short films about a madman named Schreck, who in each episode kills a couple or a woman in a unique, gruesome way. When members of the audience begin to recognize the subjects who are being decapitated, dismembered, and disemboweled on film—friends who have gone missing—they begin to realize that this isn't acting, after all. Connie, a deaf woman who is able to read lips, discovers that the supposed actors are actually pleading for rescue, a message that isn't being heard by the audience. When she closes in on the truth of the situation, she also falls victim to the filmmakers. A Publishers Weekly writer called this novel "a clever shocker, full of horrifying touches guaranteed to send shudders up the spine."
Fantasy Review contributor Michael R. Collings felt that Night Show "disturbs on several levels." Collings called it "shudderingly graphic" and said that "it continually disrupts expectations" and "disturbs not so much through overt violence as through the implications of that violence." It is a story of sexual obsession and revenge in which all of the murders take place during or following intercourse. Collings concluded by saying that Night Show "stimulates more than a superficial sense of terror."
With Beware!, Laymon relies more heavily on suspense. A young woman enters a market and discovers the dismembered bodies of several people, not realizing that she is next to be attacked. She survives and flees to her home, where she is assaulted again by an invisible killer.
The Beast House is a sequel to The Cellar, only now the house is a museum dedicated to the legend of the underground creature and includes replicas of its victims. Science Fiction Chronicle's Don D'Ammassa wrote that this novel is one of Laymon's "better efforts."
The moral of Tread Softly is not to mess with a mother, especially if she happens to be a witch. A group of backpackers have a confrontation with a woman, accused of witchcraft by the authorities, who lives in the mountains with her violent, retarded, sex-crazed son. As members of the group begin to die, they realize they must return to the woods and kill the witch before she does them all in with her spells. A Science Fiction Chronicle reviewer called the story "fairly good suspense in the slasher movie tradition." Fantasy Review critic Peggy Nadramia felt that the main characters never seem to be threatened, except for a scene when a dead dog comes back to life. Nadramia did feel that Laymon "makes good use of the black, remote lake in his climax" and she urges readers to "give the book a try if you're sick of the same old haunted houses."
A Publishers Weekly critic called Midnight's Lair a combination of "the best elements of psycho-slasher thrillers, disaster epics, and classic supernatural horror tales." Underground cave dwellers similar to the creature of The Cellar and The Beast House are discovered by a group of tourists as they fumble around in a series of caves after a power failure. The female inhabitants of the inner recesses of the caves look on the visitors as food, however, as they have survived through cannibalism since the caves' owner, Ethan Murdock, dropped each of them into the depths after he had raped and beaten them. Murdock's first victim was his own wife, whom he first tossed down and kept alive with food he often urinated on. Murdock's subsequent victims dropped into the cave later provided her nourishment.
The tourists have encountered the survivors who have escaped being eaten themselves, and all of whom have gone stark, raving mad. Murdock's teen son, Kyle, lusts after tour guide Darcy, and it is she and another young girl who in the end save the group. A Kirkus Reviews writer called the story an "off-putting exercise in depravity, which is as sordid as they come.... This stomach-churning mix of cannibalism and sexual sadism is Laymon at his pornoviolent worst—without the irony or manic glee that lifts most of his work above pulp." Stephen M. Richmond reviewed the novel for Voice of Youth Advocates, calling it "a readable, well-plotted mega-scary story." Richmond noted the intense sexual content, some of which he said, "borders on necrophilia." He felt that the book isn't for everyone and that parents might object to their children reading it. "But all in all, it's highly readable trash," concluded Richmond, who added, "I must admit I was hard-pressed to put this down."
D'Ammassa called Flesh "Laymon's best book to date." An ancient parasite inhabits one body after another, causing its hosts to commit acts of cannibalism and murder. The hosts are usually men and the victims women in the college town where the story is set. It is up to a local police officer to figure out who the next one will be, aided by Allison, the female protagonist, for whom the creature would make an exception and use her as his instrument of death. Cosette Kies reviewed Flesh in Voice of Youth Advocates, saying that she liked this book over Laymon's others, in part because "the monster is so believable," and "the characters, their conversations, and actions seem to ring true. As such, teens should relate nicely. Laymon is a descriptive writer, explaining every action." A West Coast Review of Books critic noted that Laymon writes violent scenes "better than most. He is also adept in writing erotic scenes, and knows how to combine the two from time to time for some of the book's most chilling moments."
Resurrection Dreams is a take on the Frankenstein theme. Melvin is the school reject but is wired mentally to mess with magic, reanimating the bodies of people he kills, a talent he plans to use to impress the girl he is obsessed with. The story is one of the quest for power and sexual obsession.
Much of Funland take place in an amusement park where a group of teens terrorize the homeless. "The plot cooks," wrote Patrick Jones in Voice of Youth Advocates, "but it doesn't ooze and chill. Not until the big final scene, set naturally in the fun house, do things get really gory."
The Stake, like Stephen King's Misery, is about a writer, in this case horror writer Larry Dunbar who, with his wife and neighbors, discovers a girl with a stake through her heart in an old ghost-town hotel. Friend Pete convinces Larry, who is writing a vampire novel, to bring the corpse home with them and use it as a stunt to promote his book. What they don't know is whether the woman was the victim of a killer or a vampire herself. Larry will find out only if he removes the stake. A Books contributor felt that even more interesting than the story are the "self-reflexive observations on the horror business." A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that the story's "only flaw may be overindulgence in dialogue. But its lighthearted tone sets up some white-knuckle moments, and the ending is more than worthy of Laymon's buildup."
A warm black rain turns the people upon which it settles into maniacal killers in the small English town where the story takes place in One Rainy Night. D'Ammassa commented that this novel relies "more on mayhem than a sophisticated plot." A Publishers Weekly critic felt that the book's "sensationalism and grinding plot obscure what little is on display of Laymon's usually considerable craft."
Savage: From Whitechapel to the Wild West on the Track of Jack the Ripper opens with fifteen-year-old Trevor Bentley searching the London streets for his constable uncle after his mother is attacked. When Trevor is mugged and his clothes taken, he breaks into a house and hides under the bed of a prostitute. From his place on the floor, he witnesses her murder and mutilation by Jack the Ripper. Trevor then pursues the killer, who pirates the yacht of the wealthy Armitage family and takes as captives Trevor and young Trudy Armitage, whom he continuously violates on their Atlantic crossing. When the boat reaches America, the Ripper kills Trudy, and Trevor escapes to become initiated in the ways of the erotic by the daughter of a general. When he hears of bloody murders in Tombstone, Arizona, he travels west to confront the killer. Library Journal's Robert Jordan called Laymon's portrayal of the female characters a "denigrating peep show." A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Savage as "a floundering picaresque historical . . . his [Laymon's] only seriously dull book yet." Booklist's Joe Collins noted that the book is written in the style of the adventure novels of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. He felt that this "is not a good marriage with the gruesome butchers administered by the Ripper."
A Good, Secret Place is a collection of twenty years' of Laymon's short stories, including five written specifically for this volume. Locus reviewer Edward Bryant wrote that the first fourteen stories "are fairly short and punchy, depending more heavily on clever plot manipulation than on character development. Most are structured like the morality plays of E.C. Comics.... It's when we get to the newer, longer pieces that the interest level picks up."
The Quake is set in Los Angeles, where a naked Sheila Banner is about to take a shower. She hides under her tub when an earthquake hits and is pinned there when beams begin to fall. Her obsessed and psychopathic neighbor, Stanley Banks, kills his mother with a piece of fallen plaster, intending to blame her death on the earthquake, then heads for Sheila's place, intent on raping her. Sheila's husband, Clint, is trying to get back home through collapsed buildings and debris, as are his daughter and her friends. "Laymon tells these three tales of survival in his customary speedy, whiplean prose," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Booklist's Michelle Guthrie felt that Laymon "writes well enough to maintain interest in the fates of the characters." Mayhem prevails as looters rape and kill, and people are skinned alive. A Kirkus Reviews critic called The Quake "a poor disaster epic whose vulturous vulgarity cramps all possible scope." Library Journal's Robert C. Moore recommended it and stated that "horror fans will find this hard to put down."
Bite is a tale set in Santa Monica, in which Sam is asked by his old flame, Cat, to kill Elliot, whom she claims is a vampire. He does so, with a stake, and the pair spend most of the novel trying to dispose of the body. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that "Laymon's writing is as crisp and gleefully malevolent as ever, but the characters are thin and the plotting is too linear."
The Midnight Tour is a sequel to The Beast House and continues with its history and a tour. "It's a nightmare ride but plenty of fun for those who like their horror no-frills and nasty," commented a Publishers Weekly writer. As in other Laymon novels, there is plenty of sex and violence, but Library Journal's Alicia Graybill commented that the author "writes humor well and uses it to relive the tension."
As with many of Laymon's later works, A Writer's Tale, his combination memoir and guide, was published as a limited edition and isn't widely available. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that if it does find its way to a bookstore, "readers will be able to locate it instantly by the scorched earth all around it. It's debatable if a more incendiary book about writing and publishing has ever been produced by an author with major-league credits." That's because in addition to a review of his own books, Laymon pulls no punches in criticizing the American publishing industry and its insistence on the bottom line, a trend that has kept so many authors from ever achieving publication. To demonstrate his point, Laymon traces the success of his books that have been published overseas, while noting that publishers in the United States are more concerned with what they feel is appropriate to publish than with the kinds of books readers want to read.
The plot of Come Out Tonight is propelled by a broken condom. Substitute teacher Sherry Gates and her boyfriend, Duane, have a breakage problem which sends Duane to the store for more. When he doesn't return, Sherry goes looking for him, only to be abducted by Toby Bones, a teen, who with his brother, has killed their parents and is on the run. Sherry escapes and asks a stranger named Jim to help her. They go to Duane's, where they find him dead of a crushed skull, and Toby then kills Jim with butcher knives, stabs Sherry, and again violates her as he has done to several others. The horror also includes child molestation, shootings, a beheading, and death by electric drill. "And that's just for openers as Laymon's novel slides in slime toward a big sweet hell of pain and orgasm," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic.
A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that scenes such as the one in which a naked Sherry is helped by two horny boys "contain elements of both evil and tenderness . . . in a dashing display of emotionally complex writing." The reviewer praised both Laymon's characters and his narrative, but felt that the many scenes that include sadism and torture "cross the line from terror to lurid cruelty and will curdle the enjoyment of all but the most dedicated Laymon fans."
Cuts is set in 1975 and has two plots. One finds California high school substitute teacher Janet Arthur leaving her lover because he wants her to abort their unborn child. Librarian Lester Bryant is having an affair, as is his wife, who is sleeping with a student. In the other thread, Albert Prince, an Illinois teen is raping and brutally slashing women. "The author binds the two together in an arbitrary way, through his tying of pathos and brutality," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer who felt that Laymon "flashes serious storytelling talent."
A woman's body is found naked and headless in a California river in Among the Missing. Among the suspects are the woman's husband, a professor who has been known to fraternize with his female students, one of his former girlfriends, and a gay former convict who sells drugs and turns tricks. Sheriff Rusty Hodges is on the case, assisted by his deputy Mary, who is also his daughter-in-law. Most of the book involves the search for the murderer, and a Publishers Weekly contributor stated that Laymon throws in "an occasional provocative story twist or a bit of gratuitous sex and gore." The reviewer felt that, with the exception of Hodges, most of the characters "display despicable qualities. But such flaws make Laymon's one-track story more intriguing and more realistic."
Sixteen-year-old Dwight narrates The Traveling Vampire Show, set in the Midwest in the 1960s, in a small town where a stadium has been constructed to commemorate the spot where the victims of a serial killer had been found ten years earlier. Dwight and his pals, Rusty and Slim (a girl), see flyers for the show of the title, which feature Valeria, a "real" vampire. They sneak out to the woodsy site of the show where they are attacked by a vicious dog, which is then killed by member of the show. With help from Dwight's sister-in-law, the teens can buy the tickets to attend the show in which Valeria offers a $500 prize to anyone who can beat her wrestling in a steel cage. A secondary plot involves the possible disposal by Slim and her mother of an abusive husband.
"The emphasis is on atmosphere rather than action," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic, "and he [Laymon] sustains a note of anticipatory dread throughout, made particularly resonant through his expert handling of the social, particularly sexual, tensions among the three teens." Library Journal's Patricia Altner noted the novel's graphic violence and sexual content but called it "a well-written story that will appeal to fans of horror fiction." Bryant commented in Locus that "in the final analysis, the supernatural horror remains as a tantalizing background B-picture; what's ultimately more important is the more realistic foreground in which the highly recognizable and supercharged emotions of the youngsters cross, collide, and interplay with all the appropriate display of arc and sparks. Richard Laymon has used all these elements before, but never quite like this present configuration. In essence he seems to have transposed foreground with background in The Traveling Vampire Show. It's an astonishing and successful experiment." The novel won the Bram Stoker Award for best novel of the year from the Horror Writers Association several months after Laymon's death.
Shannon and Laura, two young women who live on a dead-end street near a graveyard, let sixteen-year-old Hunter Gordon into their house when he tells them that beings from the cemetery are after him in Once upon a Halloween. And such terrors appear and lay waste to all they come in contact with, including Shannon and Laura who are prepared for sacrifice and a father taking a group of children door-to-door for their tricks and treats. "The master of Yuck wades through gore to give us a Halloween to remember," wrote a Kirkus Reviews writer. A Publishers Weekly contributor said Laymon's fans "will love the richly depicted seasonal setting and Laymon's ability to make pages riffle as if in high wind."
In reviewing Night in the Lonesome October, the first of Laymon's books to be published posthumously, a Publishers Weekly writer noted that although he was president of the Horror Writers of America and the author of dozens of books, Laymon received no tributes from major media, demonstrating that "horror remains literature's shunned child." The story is about Ed Logan, twenty, who has just been ditched by his girlfriend, and who walks at night through his college town, finding a new love, and meeting the inhabitants of the night, including the trolls who live under bridges, predators, and a homeless girl named Casey who leads him through this other world of darkness. The reviewer stated that this book does not contain as much sexual violence as Laymon's earlier books and "highlights his tremendous strengths as a writer. This is at once one of the eeriest, and one of the most immediate, horror novels of recent decades."
Friday Night in Beast House is the fourth in that series, a shorter novel about Mark, who takes the girl of his dreams to Beast House, the tourist attraction. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted the ending's twist and commented that the story reflects Laymon's traditional style, "the use of simple, strong sentences to construct, via extraordinarily vivid sensual detail, a narrative that envelops the reader in a moment by moment revelation of events."
Laymon also wrote a Halloween book for children, titled The Halloween Mouse. Timothy Maywood Usher Mouse lives in a library but wants to experience the adventures he reads about in books. He manages to evade a snake, a cat, and trick-or-treaters and is riding atop a jack-o-lantern on a river, heading toward unknown destinations, at the close of the story. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Alan M. Clark's color illustrations "capture the mystery, magic, and delicious terror of Halloween" and that this children's book "will appeal to Laymon completists."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Laymon, Richard, A Writer's Tale (guide/autobiography; signed limited edition), Deadline Press, 1999.
St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Booklist, November 1, 1987, review of Cobra, p. 438; January 1, 1994, Joe Collins, review of Savage: From Whitechapel to the Wild West on the Track of Jack the Ripper, p. 806; May 1, 1995, Michelle Guthrie, review of The Quake, p. 1552.
Books, November, 1990, review of The Stake, p. 32; March, 1991, review of One Rainy Night, p. 6.
Fantasy Review, November, 1986, Michael R. Collings, review of Night Show, p. 30; May, 1987, Peggy Nadramia, review of Tread Softly, p. 44.
Journal of Reading, December, 1986, Betty Carter, Richard F. Abrahamson, review of The Intruder,p. 209.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 1992, review of Midnight's Lair, pp. 1275-1276; November 1, 1993, review of Savage, pp. 1349-1350; March 1, 1995, review of The Quake, pp. 256-257; June 15, 1999, review of Come Out Tonight, p. 913; October 1, 2000, review of Once upon a Halloween,p. 1388.
Library Journal, December, 1993, Robert Jordan, review of Savage, p. 175; April 1, 1995, Robert C. Moore, review of The Quake, p. 124; September 1, 1998, Alicia Graybill, review of The Midnight Tour, p. 214; June 1, 2000, Patricia Altner, review of The Traveling Vampire Show, p. 198.
Locus, June, 1993, Edward Bryant, review of A Good, Secret Place, p. 25; June, 2000, Edward Bryant, review of The Traveling Vampire Show, pp. 25-26.
Magazine of Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, March, 2002, Charles De Lint, review of Night in the Lonesome October and In the Dark, p. 31.
Publishers Weekly, November 5, 1979, review of The Cellar, p. 66; December 17, 1982, review of Out Are the Lights, p. 71; December 26, 1986, John Mutter, review of Tread Softly, p. 54; May 10, 1991, review of The Stake, p. 272; November 9, 1992, review of Midnight's Lair, p. 74; November 8, 1993, review of Savage, p. 58; April 3, 1995, review of The Quake, p. 47; July 27, 1998, review of The Midnight Tour, p. 55; September 28, 1998, review of A Writer's Tale, p. 79; May 24, 1999, review of Bite, p. 74; May 31, 1999, review of Come Out Tonight, p. 69; June 21, 1999, review of Cuts, p. 60; January 24, 2000, review of One Rainy Night, p. 298; March 6, 2000, review of Grave Tales, p. 89; April 24, 2000, review of The Traveling Vampire Show, p. 66; October 9, 2000, review of Among the Missing, p. 78; October 16, 2000, review of Once upon a Halloween, p. 54; April 2, 2001, review of Night in the Lonesome October, p. 44; August 13, 2001, review of Friday Night at Beast House, p. 290; October 1, 2001, review of The Halloween Mouse, p. 43.
Science Fiction Chronicle, June, 1987, review of Tread Softly, p. 54; April, 1988, Don D'Ammassa, review of The Beast House, p. 57; June, 1988, Don D'Ammassa, review of Beware!, p. 52; May, 1989, Don D'Ammassa, review of Flesh, p. 37; April, 1993, Don D'Ammassa, review of Midnight's Lair,p. 34; December, 1999, Don D'Ammassa, review of Bite, p. 43; June, 2000, Don D'Ammassa, review of One Rainy Night, p. 53.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1989, Cosette Kies, review of Flesh, pp. 28-29; June, 1990, Patrick Jones, review of Funland, p. 117; October, 1991, Samantha Hunt, review of The Stake, pp. 216-217; August, 1993, Stephen M. Richmond, review of Midnight's Lair, p. 166.
West Coast Review of Books, January-February, 1989, review of Flesh, p. 23.*