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Darkness, Tell Us

Novel by Richard Laymon (USA) 1991.

The title is from Shakespeare but the rest is vintage Laymon. To be more precise, a vintage of 1987, as this is very similar in many respects to his 'Richard Kelly' novel Tread Softly, reissued under his real name as Dark Mountain.

Coreen Dalton is a popular college professor who invites six of her students to an end of term party. All goes great until they start playing with a ouija board and reach a spirit called Butler who promises them a great treasure. Naturally the six kids 'borrow' the ouija and head off for Calamity Peak and its disused mine that holds the loot. Feeling responsible, Coreen chases after them with her brother-in-law Chad who has just this minute returned from five years living in the mountains.

As slick as any Laymon novel with characters as well defined and three-dimensional. It has its good share of shocks and set pieces. But it's also thoroughly predictable. Laymon is a writer of great talent whose skills have improved with time. But as the decade switched to the '90s, he switched onto autopilot. Any Laymon fan will thoroughly enjoy this, but he ought to be producing something of a higher calibre at this stage of his career.


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