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Lot Lizards

Ray Garton

Mark V. Ziesing Publishers

US Hardcover First

ISBN 0-929480-59-7

$22.00; 188 pages

Date Reviewed: 02-22-1992

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel © 2002




04-29-02, 12-13-02

Occasionally, I like read a book that's like a bullet to the brain -- short, sharp and devastating. A book that will grab hold of me and not let go until until I've turned the last page. I guess the word I'm looking for is compulsive. If you're like me, then the book you should be looking for is Ray Garton's "Lot Lizards". Most horror readers are probably familiar with this talented writer from his Bram Stoker nominee novel "Live Girls". In "Lot Lizards", Garton gleefully takes on his forte, vampire sluts, with such gusto that it's impossible to resist. Great characters and enjoyable action make this book required reading for vampire lovers and haters alike.

The novel begins as Bill Ketter loses his humanity to a gaunt hooker in a truck stop parking lot. Separated from his wife, depressed by his early failures, he unknowingly surrenders his life in a moment of weakness and fatigue. One year later, his family -- wife Adelle, son Jon and daughter Cece, almost-stepfather Doug Purcell -- are marooned by a traffic accident at the same truck stop. In the parking lot are two trucks, with a cargo of undead call girls. In quick expertly rendered strokes, Garton creates the closed atmosphere of the snowbound truck-stop with such authenticity that you'll smell the sweat of the two fat pimps who are enslaved to their sinister freight. Ketter is out for revenge, but unaware of the nature of the Queen.

Garton's characters are what carry this pulp tale with such propulsive force. They are tired, starved, disappointed and rendered with an even hand that easily exposes the strengths, flaws and quirks of real people. The vampire logic is flawless, even though they do go down into the basement. And even though this novel has a number of similarities to "Live Girls", it's certainly not a repeat. It's just more fun.

Cheap vampire novels seem to multiply faster than credit card debts. If you're going to blow your hard-earned cash on thriller-diller hardcover books, you might as well get the best. "Lot Lizards" will do just fine.