There isn't a lot to this little story. The plot is fairly simple and straight-forward. A kid named Sawyer is killing off his friends to protect their families from being killed by a mannequin. But, to jump to that extremity, there are events leading up to this.
Sawyer and his friends find a discarded dummy in the forest. “Manny” becomes the group mascot and gets hauled around from place to place kinda like Pete the Pup in The Little Rascals – only Pete was real and this mannequin isn't. However, for Sawyer that all changes.
The group play a joke on their friend at the theater and place Manny in a seat, then they go complain to management that somebody in the crowd is being too loud. But, the joke is on Sawyer when he witnesses Manny getting out of his seat and walking out of the theater. Is Manny real? Is IT alive?
Sawyer believes that one of his friends, and their family members, is run over in the street by Manny. He also believes Manny is stealing food from the neighborhood and eating in some hunkered-down locale in the woods. It's really out there man. But, to protect all of the innocent family members from being murdered, Sawyer decides he will just take a less violent approach and kill his friends before Manny can. If his friends can't be slashed to death by the slasher, then innocent lives will be spared.
Night of the Mannequins is a goofy serial-killer-slasher novel that is told from Sawyer's perspective. I have a minor beef with these types of stories because I don't want to be trapped in the mind of a lunatic. Some readers, and horror fans, love this sort of thing. I'm borderline with it. I like that Jones knows how to get into the story and get out quickly, leaving a short space here to do his thing. At 144 pages, this book is a real breeze that's enjoyable and fun without any excess baggage. Recommended.
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