Synopsis: Freelance Investigative Reporter Eddie Hansen gets a tip on a missing death row prisoner, Annette Dobson, known as “The SIDS Killer.” Eddie adamantly believes Dobson’s execution was staged and that she was secretly shipped to a Behavioural Health Centre in a remote location outside the small town of Dell City, Texas.
With the opportunity to break the story, Eddie voluntarily commits himself into the asylum. His journals, video diary and recordings leave a trail of breadcrumbs into a series of radical experimental procedures conducted on patients without their consent.
With proof that this vicious serial killer is alive, records of her forced exorcism and the impending birth of the child the world believes is dead, Eddie has the big story that will redeem his life and career. But as Eddie dives deeper into his investigation, he is forced to confront his own demons, becoming an unwilling participant in the asylum’s paranormal rehabilitation experiment.
I have a fondness for some horrors from way back when, as a little girl, my gran used to let me stay up late at her house to watch Hammer House of Horror films. This book reminded me of that a little but with a bit of American Horror Story (the mental asylum one)/Shutter Island thrown in. It’s a little bit bonkers but all the best stories are. I’ve reviewed books before where I’ve said I enjoy them most when the author throws everything in there. As long as all the loose threads are sewn up a book can be as full of twists and turns as the author can think of. This had a vague ending but not with the plot twists. Probably not worded that very well but trying to avoid the spoiler. It’s a great example of the unreliable narrator style.
And this kind of did that for me. The premise is simple, Eddie is a journalist that is trying to find out the whereabouts of a pregnant serial killer who should have been executed. He enters an asylum voluntarily but that’s where it starts all going wrong and not everything is as it seems. Eddie then has to confront his own demons (both real and possibly otherworldly – I have a feeling that bit is for the reader to decide) with terrifying results. I’m still not sure exactly who I trust out of all the characters.
The book hooks you in from the start and doesn’t let up until the very end. It also uses diary/transcripts which are some of my favourite types of prose. It’s just breakneck speed from beginning to end. And there is no real end. It ends with just as much mystery as it begins.
I read it in a day, I found it really hard to put down and I can’t wait to see what the proposed visual (TV/film) looks like