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Among the Missing Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843947888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843947885
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The shocking discovery of a woman's body naked and headlessDalong the shores of the Silver River in Sierra County, Calif., sets off a series of interrelated events that will have readers guessing about the killer's identity until the final pages of this thriller. The small-town suspects are many, including the victim's husband, Professor Grant Parkington, who has a reputation for fooling around with his students; Bass Paxton, whoDalong with girlfriend Faye Everett (with whom Parkington once had an affair) found the body; and Merton LeRoy, a gay ex-convict who sells drugs and turns tricks inside a van parked down by the river. At the center of the investigation are Sheriff Rusty Hodges and his hotshot female deputy and daughter-in-law, Mary, nicknamed "Pac" because of her father's allegiance to football's Green Bay Packers. The murder occurs almost immediately, and Laymon (Bite, etc.) devotes the rest of his book to the search for the killer, rarely detouring from his primary aim except to throw in an occasional provocative story twist or a bit of gratuitous sex and gore. Outside of Hodges, few characters are worth rooting for, as all of them display despicable qualities. But such flaws make Laymon's one-track story more intriguing and more realistic. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

AMONG THE MISSING is strikingly different. From the chilling opening...we are plunged into a disturbing world of twisted psychopathology THE TIMES "AMONG THE MISSING is strikingly different. From the chilling opening...we are plunged into a disturbing world of twisted psychopathology' The Times 'Featuring short, sharp chapters and quick dialogue, AMONG THE MISSING is a fast-paced tale and a real page-turner' Lancashire Evening Post More reviews for Richard Laymon: 'No one writes like Laymon and you're going to have a good time with anything he writes' Dean Koontz 'This author knows how to sock it to the reader' THE TIMES If you've missed Laymon you've missed a treat' Stephen King '[AMONG THE MISSING] is a well-written thriller, which begins with a woman losing her head (literally) and ends with a very nifty twist' Hull Daily Mail Praise for previous books: 'No one writes like Laymon and you're going to have a good time with anything he writes' Dean Koontz 'This author knows how to sock it to the reader' The Times, If you've missed Laymon you've missed a treat' Stephen King, 'A brilliant writer' Sunday Express* 'A grisly cocktail of horror, murder and mayhem laced with Laymon's distinct blend of black humour. Great stuff.' Yorkshire Evening Press 'Richard Laymon doesn't disappoint with his latest offering.' Peterborough Evening Telegraph "So fastpaced you find yourself reading it at the speed of a bullet from a gun...a rollercoaster ride of fear' Peterborough Evening Telegrap 'There's not a crime novelist around who writes cleaner prose than Laymon - and few who can jack up the tension the way he does...Laymon likes to grasp readers by the neck with expert word-smithery, then haul them into a diabolical situation...once again, Laymon offers unexpected, well-rounded characters blown about in a narrative that moves like the wind.' Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Richard Laymon's works include more than sixty short stories and more than thirty novels, a few of which were published under the pseudonym Richard Kelly. However, despite praise from prominent writers from within the genre, including Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Laymon was little known in his homeland -- he enjoyed greater success in Europe, though, particularly in the United Kingdom -- until his affiliation with Leisure Books in 1999. The author largely viewed much of this as a product of the poorly re-edited and reconstructed first release of The Woods Are Dark, which had over 50 pages removed. The poor editing and unattractive cover art ruined his sales records after the success of The Cellar. The original and intended version of The Woods Are Dark was finally published in July of 2008 by Leisure Books and Cemetery Dance Publications after being reconstructed from the original manuscript by his daughter, Kelly.

His novel Flesh was named Best Horror Novel of 1988 by Science Fiction Chronicle, and both Flesh and Funland were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, as was his non-fiction work A Writer's Tale. He won this award posthumously in 2001 for The Traveling Vampire Show. His win was used as an answer for a question on the syndicated Jeopardy program.

The tribute anthology In Laymon's Terms was released by Cemetery Dance Publications during the summer of 2011. It featured short stories and non-fiction tribute essays by authors such as Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Gary Brandner, Edward Lee, and scores of others.

Customer Reviews

Not every Laymon book can be a 4 or 5-star review, unfortunately.
Darren Jacks
While a simple premise, Laymon's writing keeps you involved by filling the story with real characters that are interesting.
Mike Kazmierczak
This is not Richard Laymon's best book, but a good storyteller is always fun to read.
Gray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on February 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not a great book but still a good read. All of the town's female characters, even the police seem to very easy women which makes this book pretty unrealistic. It seems like the author must be a teenager who has never had a girlfriend, even though as we know he is not. If you can accept the constant sleaze and sluttiness of the characters this is a pretty simple fast read book.
A young couple, Bass and Faye out for a canoe picnic come across a naked decapitated female corpse with the killer running off across the river carrying the woman's head when he sees them. Once back in the town Faye disappears and it becomes apparent someone is out to kill Bass before he can identify him to the police.
Among the Missing is no literary masterpiece but it is enjoyable enough to read if you can get it cheap and it will pass the time nicely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Whildin on November 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first book of Laymon's. It starts out with a murder and a beheading, and the fun's only just begun. A couple discover the victim and her killer in the morning, and the killer runs off with the head. Enter the police. Now the search is on to catch the man who did it.
A couple of punk kids may have some answers, but they're not interested in sharing. Sheriff Hodges intends to persuade them, however. He and "The Pac" aren't going to let this guy get away.
The story offers surprises and even a twist, and Laymon does a good job of not giving away anything until the moment it happens. However, one flaw in the book is poor character development of Bass. Fortunately, the rest of the book makes up for this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PMurphy on January 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading a marathon of Laymon, I think this one falls right in the middle. It's a typical horror/gore/mystery, and I think the biggest flaw is most of the characters are kinda hard to like. However, I was still pretty gripped throughout the entire thing. A must-read for people who like this author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TorridlyBoredShopper VINE VOICE on May 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having fun, especially when wanting to take risks to up the stakes, sometimes bears the implication of having consequences to go along with those actions. Fortunately those moments sometimes grade with a learning curb, letting us go with only a scare and nothing more, and sometimes they have much harsher lessons to teach their pupils. In Among the Missing, these punctuation marks are some of the worst that people can find themselves confronted by. It begins with a woman, Alison Parkington, driving her Jaguar (barely clothed) to meet her lover in the dead of night, thinking that deserted woodlands would mean more pleasure for the principalities. These thoughts begin to manifest themselves, too, as her nameless love invites her to a more secluded place known as The Bend; a little river with sandy beaches that dance alight by the kiss of the moon. This, however, turns out to be short-lived fantasy as she finds herself thrust beneath those gleaming waters, suffocating, and then greeted by the press of the hacksaw. The next day, a couple planning a canoeing trip together happen upon two people lying in those sands, one a naked woman and the other a dressed man, and find that, as the male turns and flees, that the woman is of the headless variety. And then the strange cycle of problems begin.
Among the Missing was actually a pretty good read, containing many of the things that Laymon is well-known for and providing an ending that went well into the surprising twist category. It has some gore but isn't really overly brimming with it, some violence that erupts while the chase is on but isn't hinged on that detail, greets with sexual encounters that aren't overly depictive but that do hit a few levels I really didn't care to hit, and a plot that spin around as characters are introduced and played with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mellion108 VINE VOICE on March 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A rich, married woman in a see-through nightie takes her Jag out for a midnight spin and picks up her nameless lover on a dark, back road. The same woman is found the next day--without her head--and thus begins the mystery of Among the Missing. Rusty Hodges, the sheriff, takes on the headache of unraveling the mystery of this woman's death, and it seems as if no one goes unimplicated in this tale.

The story has a lot of twists and turns, and it highlights some of Laymon's trademarks: wry humor, gore, people getting it on, surprises, people talking about getting it on, violence, people thinking about getting it on, quirky characters (wait till you meet Merton), and then, to be on the safe side, just a bit more sex. It's great! This is a quick read, and you can probably finish the entire thing in a few hours, which is good because you probably won't want to put it down anyway.

Label this novel anything you want--mystery, suspense, thriller, horror--but do not doubt that it is one heck of a fine read. This may not be Laymon's greatest novel, but I've found that even Laymon on a mediocre day is still better than a lot of the stuff on the "best seller" lists. The horror genre lost a true master when Laymon died; it's wonderful that he left us so many novels. After this one, pick up THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW. You definitely won't be disappointed by it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Surowiecki on December 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The only thing missing from Richard Laymon's "Among the Missing" is an Epilogue. Had it contained one, this novel would have been very much like an extremely low budget episode of Barnaby Jones.
It's somewhat mislabeled a "horror" novel. It really should be classified as a murder/mystery. The back cover blurb sets up the tale well enough. The story goes something like this: Late night liaison, murder, decapitation, witnesses, police involvement, suspects, twist, resolution. To go into details of any one of these aspects would be to ruin what story there is. This wouldn't be fair to the reader.
To his credit, Mr. Laymon has a knack for writing very light prose. This novel can be finished in just under two hours. If you're looking for something simple and not very taxing, this is a novel that certainly fits the bill.
It will definitely entertain all of Laymon's fans, but if you're new to his work, this wouldn't be the best to use as a starting point.
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