They Thirst by Robert McCammon


They Thirst, Robert McCammon, 1981

My favorite quote: “Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?”

Notable characters: Andy, the detective; the Roach, a rapist and murderer; Gayle, a reporter; Rico, a gangster

Most memorable scene: When the albino opens fire in that bar in Texas

Greatest strengths: This book has a huge cast and multiple points of view, but in the hands of a master like McCammon, it reads seamlessly

Standout achievements: The prose itself. Few writers have the language at their command like Robert McCammon does

Fun Facts: Citing that he didn’t feel it measured up to his later efforts, McCammon took this book out of print for several years

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: McCammon excels at a lot of things, but what I’ve learned from him most — and from this book in particular — is how to effectively construct compelling action sequences

How it inspired me: While writing The Black Wasp, I was trying to figure out how my villain, Gretchen, might summon Emeric, her old friend, from several cities away. I remembered a scene in They Thirst where Wes Richer’s wife, a medium, makes contact with an evil spirit who warns them about vampires through a Ouija board. Somehow, this gave me the idea that vampires, being technically dead, might possibly be able to communicate through divining methods … so I added a seance to one of Emeric’s scenes, and viola! … Gretchen made contact 

Additional thoughts: This book has a definite Dracula “vibe,” including a serial killer reminiscent of Renfield — but at the same time, it’s a unique work that stands on its own and, in my opinion, is in no way inferior to the author’s later works. I don’t know what he was thinking by taking this book out of print. I suspect there’s more to that story … but that’s none of my business …  

My rating: 4 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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