Sunday, December 16, 2012

Red Rain by R. L. Stine

Best known as the author of the famous Goosebumps books, R. L. Stine has turned in a horror novel for adults. It is, as he explained at the book signing where I picked this up, “A horror novel for my first Goosebumps readers who are all grown up now.” Red Rain isn’t Stine’s first adult novel, but it’s the first one in fifteen years. Red Rain is a page turner, stylistically identical to his Goosebumps novels, but with a plot, characters, dialogue and scenes (including sex) for mature readers. And it’s good, and real creepy. The tale begins with travel writer Lea Sutter on an island off the South Carolina coast when a hurricane hits. In the storm’s aftermath she discovers two orphaned boys, Samuel and Daniel, and decides to adopt them. Meanwhile, her husband Mark, a noted child psychologist, doesn’t exactly warm up to the boys. It’s obvious from the onset that Samuel and Daniel are evil, so I’m not giving anything away. Things get nasty quickly and readers will be treated to some beautiful R. L. Stine plot twists. I thought the build up was a tad slow but the second half and denouement are just splendid. The ending has not one but two surprises which make it all worthwhile. Stine is a wonderful writer and I hope this book’s success encourages him to try his hand at additional adult novels. Red Rain is fast-paced, creepy and spine-chilling!

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