Summer of Night
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Summer of Night

by Dan Simmons
Release date: 1991
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror
Tags: locus award

On the last day of school, only hours before she would be forced into final retirement, Old Central School still stood upright, holding her secrets and silences firmly within.

Summer: hot, sunny, humid, its days lie ahead like a great banquet, filled with rich, slow time in which to enjoy each course. And as the young people of Elm Haven in Illinois awake on that first delicious morning of the holidays, they have nothing to be concerned about except where to ride their bikes, which pool holds the best fish. But this summer it will be different.

Someone – something – is stalking the children. Tubby Cooke has already disappeared, perhaps in the twisted, ancient depths of Old Central, which stands like a fortress in the centre of town. And strange things have been heard by them all – voices, whispers, rustlings in the night.

For Duane McBride, the tragically gifted son of a bitter alcoholic, it begins with a sense of foreboding and a curious, terrifying voice over a radio tuned to a mightnight frequency. For Dale it is the stench of death and the soft, unmistakable cry of a baby from the depths of a rendering truck. For his brother Lawrence, it is a terrible and inexplicable fear of the dark – and of the twisting shadows under the bed. For Mike O'Rourke it is the sinister, faceless World War I soldier peering into a window at night. For Jim Harlen it nearly ends when he sees an eerie glow in the old school. And then there are the curious, gaping holes in the earth with raw, red walls...

Old Central's legendary Borgia Bell holds the key to the lurking evil in Elm Haven, and when it breaks its long silence in the middle of the darkest summer night, it marks the end of innocence and the beginning of a reign of terror...

(updated 2017-01-16)

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