Barton Royal is an overweight man in his 40s who is obsessed with pubescent boys. He lives in Los Angeles but travels out of state to find and abduct a suitable young boy so he can be his "father". When he spots 12-year-old Billy Neary in an Iowa shopping mall, Barton is smitten:
"The face was the sort you could look at for hours; such beauty was a kind of food."
He follows the boy home, abducts him late that night, and drives back to California with Billy strapped into the back of his Aerostar minivan. The narrative includes glimpses of Barton's miserable childhood, especially the physical and sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and his recollections of what he has done to other boys before Billy.
Billy is not only a stunningly attractive boy, he's also bright and does everything he can to humour Barton. He tries to escape and also manages to make a few telephone calls, both on the road to and in the bedroom of Barton's home. Barton cuddles Billy and kisses him many times, but does not abuse him sexually. His behaviour switches between extreme violence (he whips Billy mercilessly) and interludes of self-delusion when he imagines that Billy could somehow love him and call him Daddy.
Billy finds his way into Barton's dungeon, his "black room", and discovers the remains of many other young boys. Billy’s father beats the police to Billy's location, just barely preventing Barton from torturing and killing him.
|Novels: The Wolfen (1978) | The Hunger (1981) | Black Magic (1982) | The Night Church (1983) | Warday (1984) | Wolf of Shadows (1985) | Nature's End (1986) | Cat Magic (1986) | Communion (1987) | Transformation (1988) | Majestic (1989) | Billy (1990) | The Wild (1991) | Unholy Fire (1992) | The Forbidden Zone (1993) | Breakthrough: The Next Step (1995) | The Secret School (1996) | Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us (1998) | The Coming Global Superstorm (2000) | The Key (2001) | The Last Vampire (2001) | The Path (2002) | Lilith's Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life (2002) | The Day After Tomorrow (2004) | The Grays (2006) | 2012: The War for Souls (2007)|
|Wolfen (1981) | The Hunger (1983) | Communion (1989) | The Day After Tomorrow (2004) | The Grays (2008) | 2012: The War for Souls (2010)|