The Nocturne

ISBN: 9780957864139
Probable Cause Productions
The Definitive Paperback Edition
Released February 15, 2017

The fires were raging through Washington State. Nothing could withstand the fury. Easton, Lavender and Nelson lay in ruins. There was only one thing left to do now the fires had taken hold…



A handful of residents from Ronald take a school bus, grab all the worldly possessions they can hold and escape the flames as the fires near their town.


Donna and Kurt are camping in the Wenatchee National Forest when they hear the news. They need to get back to Ellensberg before the fires cut them off. They need to leave – pronto.

“In the distance the dancing red curtain of flame and destruction rose into the night sky.”

And then the sheriff detours them…

Detoured onto a little-used and winding backroad that no one knows. Nobody knew what lay ahead – only what was behind them.

They were all fleeing from hell.

And they arrived someplace worse…

Reviews of The Nocturne:

“A really fast paced, grim, exciting, sexy novel. It’s very gripping, violent, and weird. I really enjoyed it. The Nocturne is a book that any Laymon fan ought to enjoy. ” — Richard Laymon, author of The Cellar, USA
“The Nocturne is a guilty pleasure, full of wall-to-wall action. Forget about going to bed. Reschedule that appointment. Gerlach has pulled you into his world and won’t let go. The Nocturne is a wonderfully enjoyable and gruesome ride.” — Barry Hoffman, author of Judas Eyes, USA
“The Nocturne is a horror/sci-fi thrill ride. The full-throttle, staccato pacing of this novel is extreme.” — Cemetery Dance Magazine, Issue 51, USA
“If I didn’t know better I’d say Richard Laymon had a pen name! Plenty of fast paced action and a feeling of escapism set the grounds for a great read that is hard to find among most of the mundane authors I have read of late. It’s fantastic to see an Aussie writer with the flair and imagination to create such a gripping novel and I hope there is plenty more where that came from.” — Rick Smith, NSW, Australia
“I admire anyone who can bring a story to credible print and make it hold together. I enjoyed the story of The Nocturne. The book was well written, fast paced and the plot was strong. The story is set in Washington State where forest fires are common. As I write (Aug 2000) the northwestern part of the U.S. is being plagued with conflagrations!! A large fire prompts the evacuation of several groups of people. They end up in an isolated town where the locals are not very “friendly.” There is enough misadventure, gore, and misdirection to make Richard Laymon proud! The fire is ever present, and plays a large role in the end of the book. All in all, it was a rip roaring story. Looking forward to the author’s next work.” — Dave Stark, Texas, USA
“I enjoyed every page. I could not fault it, it kept me enthralled throughout.” — Jerry Farrell, Northants, UK
“I have just finished reading The Nocturne and I absolutely loved it. It contains all the attributes I love in a horror novel; short chapters,(but plenty of them), rapid pace, people in dire circumstances, blood & gore, deviant sex, and the ability to make the reader feel that they are there living it with the characters, without spending pages on descriptive passages and character development. Can’t wait to make a start on Love Lies Dying.” — John Lockwood, UK
“An amazing story about a group of strangers forced together in an attempt to stay alive. If the ever present fire wasn’t enough for them to combat, then the introduction of the locals would soon give them the strength, ingenuity and the will to survive. An excellent, fast paced book that will keep you guessing and intrigued until the final word. I’m looking forward to reading the next offering from Steve Gerlach.” — Sharon Gough, Victoria, Australia
“Aspiring Australian novelist Steve Gerlach continues his quest for mainstream recognition and publication with his finest work to date, THE NOCTURNE, a chilling and suspenseful tale which demonstrates a stunning literary talent that promises his quest will assuredly – and deservedly – become short-lived. THE NOCTURNE starts off with a vivid, yet seemingly incidental bus accident within a woodsy area. As the dazed, unsuspecting riders welcome their nighttime rescuers, they are instantly met with a barrage of bullets, propelling a group of individuals into a maelstrom of insanity and ritualistic savagery. Gerlach’s novel follows this intrepid band of survivors as they battle the bizarre residents of the town of Liberty, whose bloodthirsty motives remain tantalizingly unclear throughout most of this fast-paced novel, adding an eerie puzzle to a novel already drenched in gut-wrenching suspense. A perfect balance of striking characterizations, staccato pacing and graphic violence make THE NOCTURNE an incredible work of visceral dread and full-throttle suspense, doubtlessly assuring one alert publishing house will soon tout Gerlach as the heir apparent to the recent resurrection of mainstream horror fiction.” — Ron Clinton, Washington, USA
“Well, I just finished reading The Nocturne and I loved it! It was fantastic! The characters were great and to see what happened to some of them was heartbreaking. The mystery and intrigue holds through the entire book. You’re kept waiting from first page to last to find out what is actually happening, and this is a good thing, because you just can’t help but keep flicking through the pages. The Nocturne is a long book but the story holds you in so deep that I read it in three days, always dreading the time when I actually had to put it down and sleep. After reading this I can’t help but rub my hands together in hope and excitement of getting another one of Steve Gerlach’s books. A most enjoyable trip – definitely one I will take again. 9 out of 10” — Troy Taylor, Victoria, Australia
“The first 100 pages of The Nocturne left me breathless, and I found myself trying to hide behind the couch from the book. I’ll say it was like a punch in the stomach. The Nocturne is the most intense novel I’ve read in a long long time. The writing was superb and The Nocturne was fresher and more exciting than anything that I’ve read recently. It was better than latest offerings by Nicci French, Richard Laymon and Jeffrey Deaver. I read them all in the same week, but I read The Nocturne in one day! I was up until 3am the other night reading it. It was such a page turner! Excellent writing and fast-paced too!!” — Relle Treble, Victoria, Australia
“A fast moving, energetic story that gripped me from the first page to the last. The only down side to it was that it had to end. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” — Paul Nobbs, Denbighshire, UK
“Woah! Just finished reading The Nocturne, and what a night THAT was!! In some ways it reminded me of an x-rated X-File from Hicksville, the main difference of course is that contrary to Mulder & Scully who never accomplish anything, the characters of The Nocturne (both good and very bad) accomplish a lot – and in the most bizarre ways! Short action-filled chapters (I love that) propel the story along at a fast pace with violent and weird twists and turns. I think Gerlach manages to keep up that eerie feeling all way through the book and come up with a fitting end – making it a classic horror that just keeps you turn that pages wondering what mischief he’ll throw in your face next. A must for the horror section of your library… Thumbs up!” — Tord, Norway
“I just finished The Nocturne! A real page turner, breathtaking every step of the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more and more of Steve’s work.” — Dana Danchik, USA
“Finally finished The Nocturne. It was very good. I’m the sort of person who can’t keep on reading a book that I’m not enjoying. I’m a hard man to please whn it comes to books, so the fact that I got through The Noctunre is a testament to Steve’s writing ability. Right from the start this had me hooked – I had to know what happened next. I wanted to read on. It was very enjoyable in a sick and perverted way and there wasn’t a dull moment. Essentially this is an action novel, so although I would’ve liked more shades in the characters, this really isn’t that sort of novel, so Steve met that balance of character depth vs keeping the action moving very well. Great atmosphere, good characters and a lot of sex and violence. I highly recommend this book.” — Brett McBean, Australia
“This is the first book by Steve Gerlach I have read and already I’m itching to get my hands on more. Laymon fans expect all the horror, sex, blood and gore from The Nocturne. This is a highly entertaining book, if you enjoy all the fast-paced, nail biting action that we have come to know and love, then The Nocturne will leave you wanting more. I won’t give away the plot, read the first chapter if you haven’t already, and I guarantee you will be captivated. It’s a KILLER!! RATING: 9/10” — Paulette Reed, Victoria, Australia
“The Nocture is most impressive. It certainly reads better than a number of other published books I have read recently. It’s extremely good.” — Mike Slusher, Victoria, Australia
“The Nocturne was a creepy and enjoyable book. I liked the short chapters, the roller coaster ride, and the various plots all tying in together in the end. As I was reading it, I thought that it was like a millennium version of the Twilight Zone with an R rating.” — Sam Smith, Evansville Police, Indiana, USA
“The Nocturne was definitely a gripping read. First off, I had to keep reading just to find out what the hell was going on. And that’s not a criticism. His characters wind up stranded in a town out of the Twilight Zone, where killing the outsiders is its only focus… never giving the all-consuming forest fire bearing down all around a second thought. And then there’s the action. Gerlach does not pull any punches with this gut churner. People are used and abused to no end, before and after they die. It was relentless. If you are looking for something to read, that does not handle your mind with kid gloves, check out The Nocturne.” — Dwayne Holmes, Producer, Gemineye Film Productions, USA
“Absolutely great! I really really loved The Nocture and as soon as you can get your hands on it…grab a copy!! I would give it 9/10.” — Karen Fry, Laymon Discussion List, South Australia
“What can I say about The Nocturne? I loved it!” — Chris Martin, The Laymon Project, South Australia



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