Horror Novel Review: The Knife by R.L. Stine


I thought I was done with reading R.L. Stine this October when I finished up Trapped but then I noticed that his 1991 YA novel, The Knife, was still sitting on my desk. Being a completest, I decided to go ahead and read it now, as opposed to leaving it for next year’s Horrorthon. Afterall, it was short and the title promised all sorts of grisly Fear Street fun. It’s not like a title would be misleading, right?

Well, there is indeed a knife in The Knife. It’s being wielded by a man who is chasing the book’s main character, Laurie, at the start of the story. And, later on, a bitchy nurse ends up getting a scalpel shoved in her throat and a scalpel is a type of knife so I guess the title isn’t completely misleading. That said, the book’s use of knives is actually a fairly minor detail. Stine could have just as easily called the book “The Teddy Bear” after the gift that Laurie tries to give to the boy at the center of the book’s plot.

Laurie is volunteering at Shadyside Hospital. She works in the Fear Wing, named after the Fear Family. She becomes attached to a patient named Toby. When Toby is discharged, Laurie is happy that he didn’t die but she is disturbed when Toby tells her that the woman taking him home is not his mother. Laurie decided to investigate Toby’s homelife on her own and, after doing a lot of stalking and basically repeatedly beaking the law, she stumbles across one of those huge crime rings that always seemed to popping up all over Shadyside.

It’s an okay book. If you’ve seen enough Lifetime films, you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on with Toby and his fake mother. And you’ll also figure out who murdered the nurse. There aren’t many surprises to be found but it’s a quick read and it’s kind of fun to watch Laurie try to balance getting a new boyfriend with cracking the case of an international crime ring. It’s like those weird episodes of Saved By The Bell where Lisa Turtle worked at her mom’s hospital. Technically, there are knives in the book so let’s give Stine credit for that.

And now, I think I’m done with reading about Fear Street for this month.

One response to “Horror Novel Review: The Knife by R.L. Stine

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review — 10/25/21 — 10/31/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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