NO SANCTURY is the first release from the Laymon Literary Estate controlled by Dean Koontz.

And it's quite a ride.

I'm really only guessing here, but I'm thinking this is an early Laymon novel. Sentence structure, story length and plot flow mirror closely the early Laymon novels we've all come to enjoy and love. There also seems to be a mirroring of some characters and plot points that you'll find reworked and refined in other, more recent Laymon novels. Still, who's complaining? Not me! Any new Laymon release is enough to send chills up your spine.

Once again, the story grips you from the first page and doesn't let up until the end.

And what do we learn from this latest Laymon feast?

Don't go camping.

Or, if you do, stay in packs and take a knife...a big knife. Because you never know who might be lurking out there waiting for you.

Poor Rick, he'd do anything for his girlfriend. Well, almost anything. But she wants to go camping. Unfortunately, as a young boy, Rick watched as his step-mother was slaughtered on a lonely desolate hiking track in the hills. He never wants to go camping again, but he knows he has to so he can satisfy his girlfriend - in more ways than one - and to finally put the past behind him. They set off for a weekend at Fern Lake...a weekend they won't forget.

Then there's Bonnie and Andrea, out hiking for the first time together. They're using the time alone as a break away from the stresses of real life...and Bonnie hopes it'll be long enough for Andrea to awaken some feelings inside her...the same sort of feelings Bonnie has for her. But Rick could throw a spanner in her works...

And then there's Gillian, who likes breaking into houses and staying there uninvited while the owners are out of town...but she chooses the wrong house on this occasion.

They all end up at Fern Lake, and they are all about to come face-to-face with the horrors lurking just off the beaten path...

The question is, will any of them survive?

Reviewed by Steve Gerlach

This novel is about a young couple's camping trip in the wilderness and the maniac that lives there, and also a rich-kid who has a thing for living in other people's homes while the owner's are away. But this time she picks the home of a serial killer.

This was a very good novel, although I wouldn't rate it as one of his best (my favorites are Island and Body Rides). It's Laymon's traditional shock-horror style, with the sex and violence included as usual (yaah!). My only complaints are that some of the characters could have been more developed-I didn't really feel like I "knew" all of them like I should, and the ending seemed a little too easy-no real twists or major surprises. The camping-out plot scenario is similar to Dark Mountain (a.k.a. Tread Softly).

All in all, though, I was very excited with this book (as I am with almost all of Richard Laymon's books) and enjoyed every moment of it. Rating: 7 1/2 or 8 out of 10.

Reviewed by Kelley Kirkwood, Orlando, FL

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