Monday, February 20, 2012

Review - APOCALYPSE ISLAND, by Mark Edward Hall

Strange things are happening to Danny Wolf. Imprisoned for a murder he claims he did not commit, Danny is tormented nightly by horrifying dreams; nightmares filled with death and destruction and chaos. Bizarre fugues torment him, during which time he becomes violent and uncontrollable, remembering nothing afterward.

Offered an opportunity for early release from prison subject to intensive psychological counseling, Danny eagerly accepts. But the minute he hits the streets of Portland, Maine, a series of ritualistic murders begin occurring. The common thread? Each of the victims is a young female; all have slept with Danny Wolf.

The nightmares intensify and Danny begins to doubt his own sanity. Perhaps he really is a homicidal madman. When young female detective Laura Higgins is assigned to the case, with instructions to get close to Danny in order to gather evidence, things begin to spiral out of control, leading to a shocking conclusion in a secret underground lab, far beneath a small island with a horrifying history off the rocky Maine coast.

APOCALYPSE ISLAND is an ambitious thriller, written by the talented Mark Edward Hall, an author I discovered about a year ago. It's a novel not easily pigeonholed: Part political thriller, part police procedural, part supernatural gothic horror and part action-adventure, all rolled into one fast-moving book. There are rogue CIA operatives, dirty cops, ghosts, corrupt church officials and double-crossing colleagues.

But at its heart, APOCALYPSE ISLAND is a tale of one man's desperate attempt to find his identity, when his history is a complete blank and his motives - and even his sanity - are called into question by all, including himself. The tension builds slowly but steadily, until by the end of this explosive book, you simply cannot put it down.

Simply put, APOCALYPSE ISLAND is a winner.

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