Having written a number of short stories in the horror field, Schow has now produced his first novel, an unfocused and overlong but not totally unsuccessful thriller about madness and revenge, with no supernatural element. The narrative concerns Lucas Ellington, whose daughter was trampled to death at a rock concert. Ellington has committed himself to exterminating the members of Whip Hand, the rock group whose performance incited the audience to stampede. At first a sympathetic character, Ellington becomes gradually less soand less believable as we come to see him as an insane but cunning wild animal. The other characters are mostly cyphers, except for Gabriel Stannard, Whip Hand's lead singer, an insecure pretty boy who masquerades as an urban guerrilla, complete with large arsenal and killer friends. Both the pace and style are uneven, and the plot is fairly predictable, but there are one or two surprises that, gratifyingly, work well. Schow demonstrates that he has the raw material to produce a really good thriller, although this one isn't it. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal: Readers of this first novel will understand why Schow wins awards for his horror stories. Lucas Ellington seeks to avenge his daughter's death at a rock concert by destroying band members one by one. The last one left alive is forced to live up to a macho image by stalking his stalker in return. Lucas is a sympathetic character at first, but increasingly his craziness is revealed.



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Used availability for David J Schow's The Kill Riff

Hardback Editions

November 1989 : UK Hardback
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Title: Kill Riff
Author(s): David J Schow
ISBN: 0-356-17917-6 / 978-0-356-17917-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macdonald
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 1988 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Kill Riff
Author(s): David J Schow
ISBN: 0-312-93065-8 / 978-0-312-93065-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
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Paperback Editions

April 1989 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Kill Riff
Author(s): David J Schow
ISBN: 0-8125-2586-8 / 978-0-8125-2586-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates Book
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1990 : UK Paperback
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Title: Kill Riff
Author(s): David J Schow
ISBN: 0-7088-4468-5 / 978-0-7088-4468-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

February 2012 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Kill Riff
Author(s): David J Schow
Publisher: Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU