The Night Man - K.W. Jeter (1989)

K.W. Jeter writes both science-fiction and horror novels, and his science-fiction is good enough that I will sometimes try his horror. The Night Man is my most recent endeavor in that direction. Jeter writes well enough, but in this case the material simply doesn't stand up.

An abused boy summons a "protector" of sorts from the recesses of his mind, and this apparition revenges itself on the offenders. Jeter manages to wring a good deal of mileage out of a remarkable small number of violent encounters - this is not a "splatter" book in any way. There are some interesting moments, and it moves along to a reasonable if not inspired climax.

Essentially, though, that is the problem. The entire book is reasonable but not inspired. It is telling that the pull quotes on the cover refer to Jeter as a writer and to his body of work, but not to this title in particular. As a result, it is impossible to recommend The Night Man except to Jeter fans or afficionados. However, one can certainly recommend Jeter! If you have not tried his work, I would suggest beginning with The Glass Hammer or Dr. Adder.

Overall Grade: C

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