I don’t know squat about horror author Alan Peter Ryan except for the fact that he recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. Still, this saddens me. Probably because like most of you, I’m very sensitive to people suffering. I mean, yes, I dig horror on screen and in books, but when it comes to real life, I’m a true softie. The other reason this gets to me is probably because I also feel a connection with the author, owning four of his published novels. Whatever the case may be, his untimely death shook me a little and made me want to pick up one of his titles to read right away. I chose his 1982 THE KILL from Tor Books. It’s all about the woods, country life, an this evil presence that roams the area.
I was already aware of THE KILL, having seen it as a new release way back when. I remember having been attracted by the cover art which reminded me of John Saul’s. Not just by coincidence, I’m sure. My guess is that the publishers were hoping to lure the same wide audience to purchase this book. Wrong move, if you ask me. THE KILL is nothing like the work of John Saul, except that both authors have the same clear line attitude when building up a story; Mr. Ryan even more so with his direct approach and unwordy stance.
THE KILL is about a young unmarried couple from New York who decide that the simple life is the way to go. So they pack up their bags and move to a fictitious rural town not far away called Deacons Kill where they hope to settle in permanently and make new friends. Which they do but at a price. You see, something strange is going on at Deacons Kill. People seem to disappear without a trace or just drop dead for no reason at all, and the sheriff, aware of the whole situation, barely lifts a finger to do something about it. That is, until the newly arrived couple gets mixed up in the mess.
THE KILL is now available at Necon E-Books.
Until next post—Martin