PREDATORS by Ed Gorman


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 Suspense-oriented horror anthology of 21 stories, awash in slice-and-dice, that's nearly indistinguishable from its so-so predecessor, Stalkers (1989). Several authors from that earlier volume encore here, perhaps most notably Dean Koontz--though his energetic ``Hardscrabble,'' a cop-vs.-alien yarn, appeared in the Night Visions 4 anthology (1987). The other pieces are original, if rarely graced with originality. Exceptions include Edward Wellen's ``Mind Slash Matter,'' a rambling but always surprising suspenser about an Alzheimer's-afflicted screenwriter whose every move is shepherded by his computer; Richard Laymon's slyly nasty ``Slit,'' wherein a slasher woos the girl of his dreams; and two oddly affecting tales: Richard T. Chizmar's ``Heroes,'' in which a man turns to a vampire to help his dying dad, and Daniel Ransome and Rex Miller's ``Valentine'' (writhing with Miller's trademark fly-off-the-page prose), about a cop falling in love with a serial-killer. Meanwhile, three competent mystery/suspense yarns--Joyce Harrington's ``The Calligraphy Lesson,'' Edward D. Hoch's ``The Society of the Scar,'' and F. Paul Wilson's ``Slasher''--seem to have wandered in from someone else's anthology but provide relief from the run-of-the-bloody-mill fare offered by Lawrence Watt- Evans, John Shirley, J.N. Williamson and Scott Fogel, Billie Sue Mosiman, James Gregory Betancourt, Thomas F. Monteleone, Rick Hautala, and Christopher Fahy. The collection rounds out with anomalous tales from James Kisner (apocalyptic horror); Ed Naha (Twilight Zone-style shocks); T.L. Parkinson, Gary Bradner, and, last but by no means least, John Coyne, with a lushly moody tale of jungle intrigue. Steak-tartare-and-potatoes, with a few extras.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-451-45246-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992


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