Lake Mountain is a buddy-story of the darkest kind… A Thelma and Louise gone mad. – Elizabeth Massie, author of The Fear Report, Sineater, and Wire Mesh Mothers
Steve Gerlach is really an unusual writer — he writes with grit and blood and real human darkness in his stories… and normally, I wouldn’t go for this level of noir crossed with horror, but…I loved Lake Mountain. – Doug Clegg, author of Nightmare House and The Infinite.
LAKE MOUNTAIN surpasses everything that’s gone before. This is the most extreme and refined Gerlach novel to date. A psychological slaughterhouse of power. – The Meat Socket Magazine, Issue II, November 2004
Lake Mountain is so extreme, it out-hitches Hitchcock. It’s a story where ROPE meets PSYCHO in a modern-day tale of high-charged, hard rock gothic thrills and chills. – Oh Yeah! Magazine, October 2004, Australia
Lake Mountain by Steve Gerlach is unrelenting, this is another page-turning thriller from the heir-apparent to Richard Laymon’s legacy. Seriously, if you dig Laymon, you’ll dig this. But here’s the thing. It’s very easy to compare Steve to Dick. The influence is obviously apparent. But Steve’s voice has truly grown with this book. He is his own writer, with his own style that, while offering a nod to Laymon, now becomes something more. – Brian Keene, Multiple Bram Stoker Award Nominated Author of No Rest For The Wicked, 4X4, and More Than Infinity.
Writing a review for a Gerlach novel is a difficult thing. His books unfold with cliffhanger building upon cliffhanger so that by the end you’re falling through the pages faster than physics should allow. To elaborate on *this* scene in chapter four or *that* scene in chapter fifteen just to entice a would-be reader doesn’t necessarily harm the structure Gerlach has in place, but it does cheat the reader of those surprises in their proper sequence – there’s a reason the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters are short, it’s all part of the suspense-building that echoes the plot’s momentum. Following on the trail blazed by THE NOCTURNE and RAGE, but to a far greater extent in LOVE LIES DYING, is LAKE MOUNTAIN, not just another thriller, for Gerlach doesn’t write mere thrillers, he writes Psychosexual Thrillers which involve protagonists who take both sexuality and psychology to jaw-dropping extremes. No matter how skewed the sexuality becomes it is always plausible because Gerlach does his homework, as such, he knows what he’s talking about and it comes across in the way things happen and the way things are described. You’ll be shocked at what people can do, but you’ll be even more shocked when you realize Gerlach’s not pulling this stuff out of a magic plot hat – some of these things really do happen. So it was with LOVE LIES DYING and so it is with LAKE MOUNTAIN. This one concerns two friends, Raven and Amber, who find themselves involved with a corpse and a race against time to get rid of it. It’s a study in friendship, love, lust, jealousy, and the lengths people will go to control themselves, others, and their circumstances. There aren’t a lot of characters in this book, just Raven, Amber, the corpse of Duke (technically, he’s around long enough to qualify as a character) and a mysterious fourth who happens upon the situation (or does he?). Bit players drop in and out, but this novel is basically the story of four people, one dead, the other three jockeying for the aforementioned “control,” and narrated by Amber, the woman in the middle of it all. The characters are well-fleshed and the titular setting is vibrantly realized. He’s written another fast-paced yarn that will thrill and shock. – Brent Zirnheld, author of Mercy Kills, USA
Steve Gerlach (THE NOCTURNE, LOVE LIES DYING, et al) continues his macabre exploration of the deviancy and devilishness of the human psyche with his latest release, LAKE MOUNTAIN (2005, signed/limited HC, Bloodletting Books). A hybrid of classic noir and dark menace, this chilling road trip to Lake Mountain is a frenzied ride that will leave new readers breathless…and longtime Gerlach devotees engrossed and impressed with the new level of maturity and character complexity that Gerlach has infused into this splendid new work. As with his other works, what Gerlach deliberately lacks in subtlety — and in one particular scene in LM, he eclipses the extremism of his other works tenfold — he more than makes up for in his vivid depiction of both a landscape and mindscape of madness and desperation. LAKE MOUNTAIN is Gerlach’s finest work to date, and deserves a prominent place on the bookshelf of anyone who enjoys outstanding horror fiction or the moldering-but-treasured Gold Medal noir paperback-originals of the 50’s and 60’s. – Ron Clinton, TALES FROM THE GOREZONE, IN LAYMON’S TERMS, Mystery Scene Magazine, Cemetery Dance Magazine, Washington, USA
From the first sentence, Gerlach grabs hold of the reader and won’t let go. As he did so successfully with RAGE, he spins this tale with a natural storytelling ability. I have always believed that the mark of a great writer is the ability to start a novel on the run, with the story taking hold within the first few pages and making the reader want to return to the pages as quickly as possible. Most of us are unable to sit down and swallow a book whole in one sitting, so the ability to keep the reader thinking about the characters and the plot while not reading the book is a special gift. In my experience, the list of authors who can do this consistently is short, and Gerlach with RAGE and now with LAKE MOUNTAIN has put himself in that category. Raven and Amber are the best of friends. Such good friends that they share the most intimate secrets. Secrets about family. Secrets about death. Raven, a beautiful stripper, has the usual problem beautiful women and in particular strippers have- every guy wants her! Duke, the manager of the trailer park where Raven and Amber live, is no exception. When he pushes himself on her, he quickly learns that Raven is one tough lady. The story is told from the point of view of Amber, who adores her friend and wants to help her deal with her problems any way she can. We are taken on a journey with Amber, Raven and Tyler, who happens upon the girls and “just wants to help.” The journey involves lust, death and jaw-dropping depravity that the reader will never forget. Trust me. Gerlach’s characters are easy to identify with, likable and yet they elicit disgust by their behavior at times. He also has the ability to really paint a vivid picture of the scenes he is creating. I was shocked when, three-quarters of the way through this book, I found a video at Gerlach’s website promoting the book which contains scenes from the ACTUAL LAKE MOUNTAIN and surrounding area, in Australia. Upon watching the video, there was a striking similarity between the actual place and the scenes I had created in my mind based on Gerlach’s descriptions. It made the book that much more enjoyable. The heart-stopping ending leaves the reader satisifed, as if a large, 5 course meal has been consumed followed by a tasty dessert. To say any more would be to include spoilers. For those of you who read and loved Richard Laymon, you may remember Stephen King’s jacket blurb, ‘If you’ve missed Laymon, you’ve missed a treat.’ Gerlach has obviously been influenced by Laymon, and he has that easy, folksy style of writing Dick had that makes the pages turn effortlessly and joyfully. I applaud his latest effort, and suggest that you read LAKE MOUNTAIN, or you will definitely miss a treat. – Jamie la Chance, USA.
LAKE MOUNTAIN is Steve Gerlach’s newest horror novel. It’s the story of two women, Raven and Amber in Australia. At the very beginning of the story, we find that Raven has just killed a man named Duke. What to do with the body? Why did she kill him? Why are Raven and Amber living in a run-down trailer? And, why do so many things seem to go wrong for them? This is a story of two very close friends, and the adventures that follow them after Raven kills Duke. The novel absolutely races from beginning to end; it’s a gripping page-turner that grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let up. Gerlach’s style is eerily similar to that of Richard Laymon. Any Laymon fan is going to love this novel, but I think it will appeal to anybody who loves a truly horrific story. There are a few scenes in the book wander into extreme horror territory. I liked the shocks when Gerlach pulls out all the stops. I can’t praise this book enough. I hope it gains enough of an audience to get attention at Stoker time. It’s that good. Lake Mountain is currently only available as a limited edition from Bloodletting Press. The cover is gorgeous and the production values are as high as you expect from BLP. It’s easily their best book. Buy it. – John Little, USA
I had a very nice surprise waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. LAKE MOUNTAIN!!! I’ve got to say it’s a gorgeous looking book, loved the cover and the author inscription too. I started reading it right away and I’m glad to say I was hooked from the very beginning, (really I was hooked from the cover!) I was sucked in from the start and only just managed to tear myself away to watch Liverpool in the champions league in the UK. But Raven and Amber were never far from my thoughts and I started reading again at half time only to have to tear myself away again when the second half begun. Needless to say as soon as the match was over I was right back to Raven and Amber. I love this book so far. Not since I read Island, my first Laymon have I been so completely immersed in a book. It’s as if I’m actually there with them…. I love it! Chapter 11 was great! Very creepy. I was up until 1.00 am reading, the last chapter I read was 17 and boy what a chapter!!! I’ve seen a few dead bodies in my time! (My uncle being an undertaker and having his own shop) I thought it was extemely well written and very realistic. I don’t know how I managed it after reading chapter 17 but I finally gave in to my body ‘s demand for sleep. I could barely keep my eyes open at this point and grudgingly put the book down. As soon as I woke this morning my thoughts turned to Raven and Amber. I couldn’t bear the thought of spending the day in work wondering what was happening to them, so I phoned work and took the day off! I’ve now got the rest off the day to read lake mountain… YEAH! 🙂 Well, I’m off now to see what else LAKE MOUNTAIN has in store for Raven and Amber and Duke! I’ll let you know what I thought once I’ve finished it. – Anthony McCartney, UK
Finished LAKE MOUNTAIN and am very very impressed. Fantastic production and great story. Steve has outdone himself. This may become a must read horror novel. The characters are very well fleshed out and believable but the things some of them do are…well…unbelievable. I was grossed out a few times but it all fits the story. Amazing what trying to get rid of a dead person can lead to. Steve takes us many places we wouldn’t normally go. Man oh man you have to read this and get blown away. Steve Gerlach can really write. Couldn’t put it down. Kept surprising me with new twists and plot thickeners and I really didn’t want it to end. Would love to read more of the two gals. – kresby, USA
This is the story of two girls, a dead body, and a trip into the mountains. With a lesser writer the book might never have moved beyond that simple premise. However, Steve Gerlach writes with such power and such skill, and twists the plot and characters in so many ways, that the end result is one of the most involving and exciting books you are likely to read for a very long time. The story is told from the point of view of Amber, the more timid of the two girls, and it is her relationship with Raven that drives the story along. Without wishing to give too much away, Amber’s character develops as the storyline unfolds, and no one is more surprised than Amber herself at the directions she moves in. And those directions are extreme! This is full-on hardcore horror, and I haven’t seen it written better since the heyday of the great and sadly missed Richard Laymon. But Gerlach is no Laymon copycat. He has a voice and a style of his own that will win him his own fans, as well as pleasing those looking for someone to fill the gap left by Richard Laymon’s untimely death. This is not a book for those easily shocked, but for the rest of us it is the best thing to come on the market in a long, long time. After reading Rage, his first book, I knew that Steve Gerlach was an author to watch. After LAKE MOUNTAIN he is an author to buy and read and read again. This book impressed me, both with the skill of the writing and the intensity and tension of the story. His drawing and development of the characters is such that, half way through the book, I found myself falling for Amber, right up until…. but that would give too much away! My final summary is simple. Buy this book. Read this book. Tell everyone about this book. It’s that good! – Neil Davies, UK – http://www.nwdavies.co.uk
I love Gerlach novels. – Gerlach Fanatic, USA LAKE MOUNTAIN just might be the best book I’ve read this year — certainly in the top three. Gerlach is a phenomenal writer at the top of his form here. And the production values are fabulous. – John Little, USA
LAKE MOUNTAIN by Steve Gerlach makes my top 3 books of 2005 easily and very well may be the best book I have read in 2005. A must read for all horror and thriller fans, LAKE MOUNTAIN is like reading a classic Laymon, which is a compliment in the highest form coming from me. – TC, USA
Okay, finished LAKE MOUNTAIN last night and boy what a finish! I loved it, I can’t praise it highly enough. Loved the ending, very creepy. And chapter 37 WOW! Very sick and twisted, I love it! I’ve started recommending LAKE MOUNTAIN to everyone I know! I’ve got to say, after reading LAKE MOUNTAIN, your now right up there at the top of the list alongside Richard Laymon as my favourite writer. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more from you. I have a nice little collection of Gerlach novels building. As I said, I can’t praise this book enough, it’s a great read and if it doesn’t get nominated for a Stoker, hell if it doesn’t win a Stoker then I don’t know what will! Had a great day lying in bed finishing LAKE MOUNTAIN. – Anthony McCartney, UK