by Michael Patrick Hicks
High Fever Books
*** Review copy received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***
Review: This story is set in the early part of the 20th century in New York and involves graverobbers who get up to no good and desecrate graves for bodies for medical experiments, but also target the downtrodden, shall we say, for their live experiments, which go into explicit and gruesome detail. Not for the faint of heart indeed.
Our protagonist, Salem, is a free person of colour who tries to stop one of these grave desecrations when it targets someone he knows, but it ends in a vicious and bloody encounter.
Exploring the point of view of one of the villainous characters was an interesting choice, and one I felt allowed the reader to experience all of the gory details up close.
The plot built to a dynamic crescendo of events that kept escalating; in the interest of avoiding spoilers, I will stop there, but suffice it to say, Salem’s journey was a compelling and nerve-wracking experience to read through.
Of additional note, the author’s Afterword provides a fascinating glimpse into the history that inspired his work, and for those interested, there will be a sequel, it appears. I also wanted to call attention to the stunning cover art by Kealan Patrick Burke, a talented author and graphic artist in his own right.
Overall, I felt this very well-written book was an incredibly compelling read, and in spite of making me squirm at quite a few spots with the body horror, I enjoyed it and found it to be a gripping page-turner.
About the Author: Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella, Mass Hysteria, an Audiobook Listeners Choice Awards Horror Finalist, and Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Finalist. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.
In addition to his own works of original fiction, he has written for the online publications Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter, and has previously worked as a freelance journalist and news photographer in Metro Detroit.
Michael lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.