Mine by Robert R. McCammon
This 1991 novel from the author of the excellent 'Swan Song' and the medicore 'Stinger' comes this tale of Mary Terrell aka Mary Terror. She's a crazed 60s radical who has stolen a baby. This novel has intensity and malevolent energy and escalating risk. Laura the baby's distraught mother hunts Mary with obsessive focus.
Laura's useless cheating husband doesn't care about her or his missing son and instead of helping to search for the baby goes to shack up with his slut mistress and doesn't notice his wife has gone on a crazed nationwide manhunt for Mary Terror, who is a determined enemy.
Why aren't Mary and Laura's photos out there? Where is the Amber Alert for the baby? How can Mary taunt Laura so many times with her kidnapped child? Violence has suddenly and irrevocably become part of Laura's life. There is desperation in her eyes. Nobody notices the car chases or the obsessed ex-FBI agent? Mary never runs out of ammo and a bitter confrontation and dark denouement brew.
Someone has no prospect of survival. But which one? There are depressive feelings and prolonged grief. Ill-suited assocations of the past cast long shadows. Laura's husband's lack of sympathy and empathy is bizarre. This was very good, full of dark remberances and a mother violently parted from her child in a severly immoral act.
“Both these women had soft white throats, and he had hands and teeth.”
“CHEW 'EM UP!”
“Made him look at her with hatred,”
“She knew what was ahead for her.”
“Terrified of being insignificant and forgotten.”
“A long, terrible night.”
“Less than eager to be helpful.”
“The world that used to be.”
“Past saving now.”
The Hunry Moon by Ramsey Campbell
This 1987 horror has a back cover that totally lies about the plot which involves a small town, an evil cave and religious nutters. A boy is abused by his parents who ignore him and his obvious leanring difficulties. This was lamentable and it has narrative obsolescence. People morally justify badness, characters randomly appear and disappear and do stuff with no explanation. Great chunks of time pass and I've no idea what was going on. This was not supremely disturbing. This was just boring and an oddly unpleasant unmitigated failure that was stupefyingly boring.
“A return to order...”
“Permissiveness in all its forms,”
“Become a romantic myth,”
“No account survived of their religion.”
“Something ominious about the way the town was now,”
“Shake the stupidity out of him.”
“Don't come down till you're worth knowing.”
“Wishing her away.”