Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Red Rain, by R.L. Stine

(hb; 2012)

From the back cover:

". . . Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time.  A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction through the island and Lea barely escapes her life.

"In the storm's aftermath, she discovers two orphaned boys - twins.  Filled with a desire to do something to help, to make something good  of all she witnessed, Lea impulsively decides to adopt them.  The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea's family back on Long Island - husband Mark, a chld psychologist, and their two children, Ira and Elena - aren't quite so pleased.  But even they can't anticipate their true nature - or predict that, within a few weeks' time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in."


Red Rain, Stine's first adult horror novel, is a solid read that has plenty of chills and thrills (the kind that films like Village of the Damned*, its sequel Children of the Damned and Who Can Kill a Child?  [a.k.a.  Island of the Damned] deliver).

Those who have read Stine's many children/YA horror novels should make no mistake: this is a 'for mature audiences' novel.  It is not for children.

I enjoyed this plot-tight, genre-revering novel until its ending, which marred this otherwise worthwhile endeavor with a cheesy, Amateur Hour finish "twist" that cravenly apes the last-minute twists of lesser, often crappy movies and books.

Red Rain is worth reading, if you can overlook Stine's lapse in good judgment.  These Amateur Hour end-twists may work in children's/YA books, but in adult fiction, not so much.

Check this out from the library, if you're interested in reading it.

[*Village of the Damned is based on John Wyndam's novel The Midwich Cuckoos.]

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