My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I know my friend, Lynn, just reviewed a mystery set in Alaska, but this happens to be one I just read and it also happens to be set there, too. I wouldn’t say it focuses on the scenery much, though!
This new series by Brenda Novak began with last fall’s prequel novella entitled Hanover House and you can find my review here. Her Darkest Nightmare is the first full length book in a series that promises to be a creepy and disconcerting psychological study of psychopathic murderers. In fact, each chapter begins with a chilling quote from real life serial murderers such as Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz or Ray Ramirez.
You don’t have to read the prequel as this novel can stand alone, but Hanover House provides a more in depth look at what happened to make psychologist Evelyn Talbot decide to push for funding a maximum security prison in the wilds of Alaska to house psychopathic mass murderers so she and other doctors can study them and hopefully find some idea of what makes them do what they do.
Evelyn was held prisoner for days, tortured physically and mentally by her seemingly normal high school boyfriend after he killed and posed the bodies of three of her friends — in the room with her where she was being held. She managed to escape, his family helped the boyfriend escape, and she’s been looking over her shoulder ever since, unable to stop trying to find out how she could have been taken in by someone who seemed so “normal” and turned out to be a vicious murderer with no conscience.
In this second installment, Evelyn and her staff have been conducting interviews and therapy sessions when one inmate insists that she and others are in danger, but he will only give her more information if she talks with him without a guard present. She takes a chance on speaking with him and he tries to convince her that something evil is going on within the prison — but he’s a psychopath, right? So how reliable is he? Then severed body parts are found, one in Evelyn’s bed, and it’s obvious something evil is going on…and Evelyn is sure it has something to do with her old boyfriend who is still on the loose.
If you like books with the thrill of scary, don’t read it in an empty house without the lights on, this is definitely one for you! There’s also a touch of romance with the seven years younger, only Alaska State Trooper in the area, whose Inuit nickname Amarok means wolf. The next installment coming soon is tentatively entitled Hello Again.