The Kill Riff
David J. Schow
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Lucas Ellington's daughter, Kristen, is crushed to death at a rock concert held by "Whip Hand", the baddest band around. Returning to the world after a year in psychiatric care, Lucas decides to kill the band members one by one.
Readers of this first novel will understand why Schow wins awards for his horror stories. Lucas Ellington seeks to avenge his daughter's death at a rock concert by destroying band members one by one. The last one left alive is forced to live up to a macho image by stalking his stalker in return. Lucas is a sympathetic character at first, but increasingly his craziness is revealed. This novel deals with the dark side of rock music and media exploitation but, in a larger sense, it explores what revenge does to the avenger. Graphic sex, violence, and vulgarity may turn some readers off, but this is otherwise strongly recommended for horror collections.
anchoring him to the polished wood floor and arresting any hope of momentum. The muzzle of the M-16 swung away as a booted foot shot around to shut Stannard's face with a thud and the click of chipping dental work. The singer fell back onto his butt, both hands clamped over his mouth and muffling a guttural noise of rage. His eyes shone at Lucas in the firelight, a bright, glazed blue. Lucas' eyes assessed him in turn and found no threat. He stooped and easily retrieved the revolver. At the
handle. The underside of the cap contained a tiny compass. In unskilled hands, the weapon could do little more harm than, say, a large butcher knife. Lucas knew this. Back in 1965 the government had devoted two weeks to instructing him on how such a knife might be used skillfully. It had all come back to him. It was like swimming or bicycling-something your body never really forgot how to do. Grab the enemy's head from behind. Seal off his mouth and snap his neck across the blade. You hardly
and I are kind of in the same boat." On the remote chance that Sara could track him to this place, he could now utilize Cass to detour her, perhaps buy time if it was needed. Just in case Sara's smarts jeopardized his plans by figuring things out too much in advance. He had given Cass a motive for secrecy with which she could easily sympathize, considering the nature of the man who had assaulted her. He worked on that angle, reinforcing it. "At one time, I loved Sara just as much as I'm sure
the parked Bronco. He was anxious to see Cass again. *** "You talk in your sleep. Did you know that?" Caution jumped into Lucas' heart with a thud. "Oh? Nothing too provocative, I hope." "Mostly incomprehensible." Lacking chores per se, Cass was moving kitchen stuff around in a ritualistic pattern, trying to find an arrangement that suited her idea of order. "Kristen's name. Something about teaching her a lesson." Impossible. Teaching them a lesson, yes. But if he'd had the Whip Hand
roll. 17 THE URGE TO SPEND SOME time near the ocean struck Cass as she was picking her way down from the outhouse. Going to the bathroom in the woods was never less than an adventure, and however cleanly maintained, the outhouse nevertheless hosted a scary variety of curious life forms. The clothes she had hand-washed in the kitchen basin hung, dry now, from tree limbs behind the cabin. She pulled them down and sniffed. Ahh. There was ham and swiss cheese and tuna salad in the fridge,