Author: William Knight
Publisher: Standing Hare
Genre: Thriller (with Horror Injection)
Rating: 4 stars
From the back cover: Bodies stolen from a renowned forensic-research lab are linked to an influential drug company by tech-phobic journalist Hendrix ‘Aitch’ Harrison. Aided by Sarah Wallace, a determined and beguiling entomologist, he delves into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining. But Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.
I liked the characters in this book. William Knight creates believable characters on both sides of the equation. The hero is reluctantly heroic and the villain is truly villainous.
While there is a hint of horror/paranormal, it’s what I call pseudo-paranormal. Yes, there are elements some may call paranormal, but the science behind their existence is not only plausible, it’s believable.
Aitch is a technophobe in the world of online media. He writes for a rag with headlines of ghosts, werewolves and zombies. Sarah Wallace is a forensic entomologist – the kind of person who can tell you how long a body has been dead by the type and age of bugs on its body. That aging has bearing on some inexplicable occurrences in her field that intersect with questions Aitch has about a story he’s chasing in Newcastle. They, as a team, are well written and face a formidable foe in Gerard Debonfort, the ‘fix-it man’ brought in by Mendel Pharmaceuticals.
I should note that while the spine of this story is a genetic/medical thriller, the science is not only sound (to the layman), it doesn’t bog the reader down with unnecessary details. Everything makes sense, even if your background in science is limited to building baking soda volcanoes in grade 6.
William does a very good job setting the scene. I was in the northeast, with the damp and the fog and the rain. And the pacing is terrific. I read the book over a 36-hour period. It was difficult to put down. The overall story arc was not only smooth, the plot points were completely organic. The author takes us, with Aitch, from a pub in Newcastle in Chapter 1 to a showdown with the pharmaceutical company at the end of the book, with every step in between a logical step.
I would strongly recommend this book, and look forward to more from this author.