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Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner
Review by Mel Jacob
Leisure Mass Market  ISBN/ITEM#: 0843957948
Date: 28 November, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Aaron lusts after his neighbor sexy Caroline Langdon. In a seedy strip shopping mall to return some DVDs, he glimpses her and a young man entering a featureless locked, gray door. He longs to follow and fulfill his wildest fantasies. Little does he know what else lies behind that door.

Accosted by a smelly obese stranger in an old blue VW, Aaron wants nothing to do with the man. His knowing hints about the back room behind the door intrigue Aaron, but he hurries away determined to avoid him.

Then one morning, he encounters Carolyn and the fantasies flame. When she visits his practice to have her cat's broken leg set, they have sex, and she asks him to come with her that night and enjoy what lies behind the gray door.

Humorous touches crop up along with sexual fantasies. Aaron's initial taste of unbridled sex with multiple partners leaves him panting for more. His first visit to the club's back room includes the repellent sacrifice of a rabbit, but the bliss that follows from the touch of the dark creature imprisoned there leaves him wanting more.

The action moves so fast it leaves little time for character development. Waggoner uses multiple points of view including even those of minor characters. He offers tight sketches of the motivations of the main characters, but Aaron, Carolyn, and most others appear driven mainly by pleasure seeking and satisfying sexual urges without a deeper examination of the consequences. Thus, it becomes difficult to care about or root for any of them except for Aaron's innocent wife and children.

Waggoner propels Aaron through horrific events and murder to a stunning climax. An accomplished writer, he has a variety of fantasy and horror novels and stories to his credit. The Horror Reader cited his Leisure Books debut novel Like Death as one of the best horror novels of 2005. Those who dislike blunt sexual language and images may want to avoid this book, but for the fans of such material Waggoner delivers.

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