Originally published in 1988, Ray Garton’s fourth novel, following not long after his award‑nominated Live Girls, is regarded as a classic of the “splatterpunk” movement in horror fiction. Garton has a way with teenage boredom, atmospheric small‑town isolation, incest, drug abuse, and over‑the‑top violence and he has managed to create a modern remake of the story of the Pied Piper with a sinister character, Mace (who wears a “crucifax” around his neck—a crucifix with an axlike blade on it) appearing on the scene, seducing mixed‑up kids with his siren song of pleasure, power, and indulgence, all leading to a horrifically unsettling climax of death and destruction. And then there are the ratlike things that do the piper’s bidding . . .