THE VOICE OF THE NIGHT by Brian Coffey

THE VOICE OF THE NIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Teenage Psycho terrorizes Nice Kid--in a pulpy quickie by the author of Blood Risk and The Face of Fear. The nice kid is 14-year-old Colin of Santa Leona, Cal., who lives with his busy, insensitive divorcee mother, spends fishing weekends with his crude father, and has no friends. Then--along comes athletic, popular Roy, who suddenly becomes Colin's best friend, even his blood brother. True, Roy is a little weird sometimes: he tells wild stories about killing animals and people; he tries to bring out Colin's own morbidity (""We're both interested in the things that count. . . . Pain and death""); he forces Colin to say dirty words; he has grotesque scars on his back; and he keeps planning murders and rapes for Colin to help him commit. But friend-hungry Colin squelches any real worries about Roy. . . till the night when Roy's determination to derail a passenger train is unmistakably real. Colin refuses to help, Roy turns on him (""You fucking traitor!""), a tong cat-and-mouse chase around an automobile graveyard ensues, Colin escapes--but his mother (the cardboard-iest character is an all-cardboard cast) won't believe him, and Roy is pursuing him with lighter fluid and matches! So Colin must fight back: he lures Roy to an old haunted house with promises of a murder/rape (Colin's heroic new girlfriend is happy to play the rapee), and the subsequent death-duel ends with Colin sparing crazy killer Roy's life. (After all, the whole thing is Roy's mother's fault--""Oh God, Roy, what they did to you. What they did to me. What all of us do to each other every day. . . ."") Poor dialogue, uneven pace, and not a flicker of anything resembling real human behavior--but okay for a mindless Saturday-matinee chill or two.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday