TOYER by Gardner McKay


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A novel-length version of a Los Angeles psychokiller drama, by playwright and Hawaiian Public Radio personality McKay. The handsome, affable, sadistic Toyer, so nicknamed by scrappy L.A. Heraldreporter Sara Smith because he drugs and toys with his victims, doesn't kill or even rape the gorgeous women he stalks. Using a three-pronged surgical instrument called a trocar, he performs an improbable operation on his victims so that they slip into a coma from which they'll never wake. Meanwhile, neurologist Maude Garance is fending off the amorous advances of her boss Dr. Tredescant, while having disturbing erotic nightmares that link Toyer to her dead husband Mason. When she isn't dreaming, Garance is on the edge of a nervous breakdown from having tried, and failed, to save so many of Toyer's victims. While Sara Smith tries to get Garance to sit still for an interview, smarmy L.A. County Assistant District Attorney Bob Meyerson announces that he won't assign homicide detectives to flush Toyer out because there are no real homicides being committed. Then Toyer, whose letters to Smith's newspaper are boosting circulation, puts a sack over Smith's head and toys with her, but doesn't do his usual surgery. Smith afterward persuades Garance to write a column teasing Toyer to reveal himself--and Toyer, already intrigued with Garance, begins to stalk her while Smith tries to figure out who Toyer might be. Could he be one of Garance's medical colleagues? Or a frustrated actor who isn't getting cast in decent movies? McKay couches his mannered misogynism in morbid social commentary, implying that serial killers like Toyer owe their existence to a sensation-hungry media, and that the only way to rid ourselves of such disgusting aberrations is to become them. Hardly.

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 1999
ISBN: 0573692971
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"