(Book Three of The Beast House Chronicles)

Richard loves The Beast House, that much is clear. And so do we. This novel is one of his longest and most involved and he enjoys every minute of it. And so will you.

Returning to the Beast House in 1997, (The Cellar is volume 1 and The Beast House is volume 2) we find that the all-mighty tourist dollar has changed the town thanks to a series of films and books on the events that took place at the house in the past. The Beast House is a small Disneyland of sorts, with audio tours, its own museum and theatre, and enough scares and thrills for every avid Beast-mad tourist.

And a few secrets...

But the Midnight Tour on Saturday nights is the main event - and a real killer!

There's an exquisite build-up of tension and suspense throughout this novel that keeps you hanging even up to the last page. It's like a big rollercoaster; you get on the ride and say, "Take me to the extremes of fear and terror." The Midnight Tour will do just that.

Richard holds off on the actual Midnight Tour until the last 100 pages - filling us with expectation and dread. He taunts us with it, tells us it's coming, we want to get there as fast as possible, but he says, "Not, yet....have a look at *this*!" By the time the tour arrives, you're as eager as the small group of tourists in the book who have shelled out $100 for the pleasure.

It's just like that roller-coaster as it pulls you slowly up, up, ever so slowly way up and you wait for that thrill of the plunge back down to earth. Richard makes that plunge long, fast and terrifying.

Please keep your arms inside the carriage at all times. Believe me, this is one hell of a ride.

The ending is a stunner that will leave you screaming for more.

Let's hope we get it.

Get ready for Midnight Tour II.

Rating 10/10.

Reviewed by Steve Gerlach

He did it again!!!!!

Absolutely great, thank you for this little gem! It took me about two days to finish because I couldn't put it down.

Up until the very end you don't know anything, twists keep occurring! Very very good work! Reviewed by M.

"The Midnight Tour," Richard Laymon's latest chapter in his horrormagnus-opus saga, The Beast House Chronicles, is, for those enamored of thegenre's favorite tourist spot, a terrific return to a wonderful blood-soakeddomain and a delicious, spine-tingling read that more than justifies itsmassive length (at 594 pgs.). Along with "Funland," it could (arguably) be hisbest book, and broadens the scope of an enduring mythos while leaving fanshungering for more...

Richard Laymon obviously loves Malcasa Point's house of horrors, and it'seasy to see why. Beast House stands as a great metaphor for the genre: ashorror buffs, we are all voyeurs of the forbidden, thrilling to (fictional)events that we hope would never befall us in real life (Laymon even got toproject himself into the narrative as the decidedly unpleasant horror writeralter-ego Gorman Hardy in "Beast House") It's obvious that Richard Laymonregards his monstrous, omnisexual, cannabilistic beasties with a great degreeof fondness, and one of the coolest things about "Midnight Tour" is the factthat, even when one of the heroines is saddles with a beast-kid, Laymon nevertries to soft-peddle the nastiness of his creations. The beasts never get cuteand cuddly: they are irredeemable symbols of unremitting savagery and tabooappetite.

Set 17 years after the events of "The Beast House" finds that The BeastHouse and Malcasa Point have changed considerably since the blood-drenchedevents of the second book. Popularized by a series of movies and books, andflushed with tourist lucre, The Beast House is now a flourishing touristattraction, with its own guided audio tour , museum and cinema, and more thanenough thrills and chills for the most jaded Beast enthusiast.

And of course, for $100, there's that Midnight Tour, which promises toelaborate on the forbidden lore of Xanadu's kith and kin...with the obligatorytrip to the celler...

Of course Laymon holds off on the tour until the book's last hundred orso pages, building suspense, and cross-cutting between recent events and 1980,in which one of the saga's heroines copes with the all-too-real legacy ofMalcasa Point. The wait and (fairly) low body-count may dismay some perusers ofLaymon's fiction, but the creation of a palpable sense of tension and mountinghorror is evident throughout. So is character development: he includes anerdish, voyeuristic secondary protagonist who does not succumb to dementiaand (for the most part) actually gets off the hook...

As usual, per the series, beneath the escapist grue, Laymon makes sometelling points: in The Beast books, it's human kind that's rich in perversityand blood-lust, and the perpetrators of the series' worst deeds, leadingreaders to wonder if the depredations of the beasts are truly that much worse?

This is a great example of a master working at the height of his craft.

Do not hesitate to buy a ticket for "The Midnight Tour".

Rating: 10 out of 10

Reviewed by Todd French

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