This is one of three books published after Richard Laymon’s death. The other two (The Glory Bus and, to a lesser extent, Amara) are worthy of being saved from his unpublished manuscript pile. In my opinion, The Lake is not.
This is a dreadful book. It’s disjointed, confusing, clichéd, uninteresting and just plain bad. It feels like the roughest of rough drafts, but one that was discarded for being too bad to bother editing. Possibly, had a ghost writer been brought in to whip the bare bones into shape, a decent novel could have been dug out of this mess. Possibly.
The fact that the action is largely set in the 80s, with flashbacks to the 1960s, points to the possibility that this was a manuscript that had been discarded a couple of decades before it was eventually published. It should have remained discarded.
I have read many Richard Laymon books. This is the only one I haven’t loved. It’s also the only one I downright disliked. Laymon’s legacy should never have been tainted with this book.