Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review: Ride the Nightmare

For the last few months my author of choice has been Richard Matheson. In the past I've worked my way through Michael Crichton, Pierre Berton, Terry Pratchett and a few others, simply working my way from oldest to newest, a book a month.

Although I was most familiar with Matheson in his horror and dark fantasy work (I Am Legend, Hell House, The Shrinking Man), he worked in all sorts of genres, and just a Elmore Leonard started out in Westerns before moving to the crime novels he was later famous for, Matheson began writing crime novels and thrillers. So far I've read Fury on Sunday, Someone Is Bleeding, and Woman; all of which were novels involving a relatively terrifying evening or few evenings in the lives of relatively normal people (although Woman has a decidedly Twilight Zone feel to it).

Ride the nightmare follows a married couple and their young child over the course of about 24 hours and involves mistaken identity, escaped criminals and a lot of punch for a novel that is only about 120 pages. If you've read a lot of crime novels the twists may not be too surprising to you, but the feel throughout the book is really great, the tension just builds and builds and the stakes get higher and higher.

I read the story in a collection called Noir, which contains three of Matheson's early books, and honestly, it was a lot of fun. Next up for me is actually a war novel called The Beardless Warriors, but as that is my February Matheson book, it'll have to wait.

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