Cuts by Richard Laymon
This edition ©2008 March
Copyright 1999 © Richard Laymon
Richard Laymon does it again. This book rocks right from the outset. The story takes place in 1975 and is about Albert Prince a dude who likes to cut people. At the start he wants to get laid and thinks he is in with a chance until the girl asks for cash. Not having the money, he takes her home, but he’s not happy about it. Later he spots a puppy, “Here boy...” Classic situation, killers starting with animals and moving to humans, only Albert moves very quickly to humans.
This book is about Albert, how he started killing and the ride he had. It starts with a break-and-enter job to get some cash for the high school hooker (mentioned earlier), when the owners return home. So starts his run across the country, and his killing spree.
This book has several storylines. We meet Janet Arthur, a pregnant woman who has just broken up with her dork of a boyfriend after he tells her to abort the foetus. She refuses and moves in with her friend, Meg. Meg is a complex character, so I won’t bother trying to explain her, the book does a good enough job of painting her.
Then there’s Ian a college professor who writes books in his spare time. We are introduced to Helen, the Ice Queen and Royal bitch to her long suffering husband, Lester, and she’s cheating on him with a student and he wants to cheat on her and finally manages. And there is a host of secondary characters, mostly they die.
Richard expertly ties all the storylines together and logically points Albert in the direction that the plot requires. I like how he weaved them together.
I found the sections with Albert exciting and fantastic and the scenes with Lester and Ian, great reading, but I felt bored and tired with the exploits of Janet and Meg, though they are needed scenes and helped move the book along with the perfect way for Ian and Janet to meet up.
The ending is a bit of a shocker and I don’t understand Janet’s reasoning. Why she did what she did. So, the first ending was a surprise and I enjoyed it. That’s the end of part one. Part two is twenty years later and Albert is a free man. He has one place he wants to visit with his switchblade. This ending was kind of what I expected. Although Mr Laymon did cover it up very well. A couple of times I doubted my belief of events to transpire.
This is a fantastic book and along with Triage and Island and Funhouse, it ranks as one of my favourites in my Laymon collection.