Thursday, June 11, 2020

Come the Night (aka Chainsaw Terror) by Shaun Hutson

Come the Night (aka Chainsaw Terror)
by Shaun Hutson (also as by Nick Blake)
Originally 1984 Star


book cover of Come The Night

Handyman Edward Briggs has lived in London home with his sister since their father murdered their cheating mother.  Sis tries to move out, but incestuously obsessed brother calls a stop to it by cutting her head off.

After dispatching her boyfriend, Briggs introduces a series of prostitutes to his sister's rapidly rotting head before introducing them to his basement full of power tools.

Meanwhile, reporter Dave Todd has been working on an article on the sex trade, and uses the prostitute he's been sleeping with as bait for Briggs.  The book is pure video nasty, something straight out of 70's 42 Street, with a climax straight out of early Peter Jackson.

The book started as Chainsaw Terror under the name Nick Blake, later reprinted as Come the Night, before being included in an omnibus edition under Shaun Hutson.  I've compared the nastiest pages of Chainsaw Terror and my omnibus edition of Come the Night, and I can confirm that these scenes are word for word the same.  They even seem to have the same typesetting, with the same page and line breaks.  Other reviewers who have copies of each have confirmed this as well.

 From the text itself there seems to be scenes cut out.  One has Briggs slowly lowering a drill into a woman's eye, his Johnson out and ready, then...

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Dot, dot, dot, she's already dead on the floor.  Like he didn't even re-write it, just cut it out.

Don't get me wrong, this is a nasty, distasteful piece of work.  Hutson strikes a good balance here, clearly making it nasty on purpose, but not enough to slip into cartoonishness.

If you're interested in just the text, the omnibus edition with The Abduction and The Visitation is the best value.  Tip o' the hat to @richleau666, @paperbacksnpugs, and @whatmeworry

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