An edgy, terrifying, and shocking tale for hardcore horror fans.


A Maryland surgeon’s experimental, potentially revolutionary treatment sparks unexpectedly violent results in this novel.

Dr. Paul Laden quickly notices something peculiar about the new hit-and-run victim in the emergency room. Though the patient is alive, his heartbeat and breathing are so faint they don’t register on the hospital’s machines. Amazingly, Laden also spots a wound seemingly healing itself. Keeping mum about what he’s witnessed, the doctor wheels John Doe to his research lab at the hospital. Once he declares John dead, he can experiment on his sedated patient as much as he pleases. Laden soon determines that John’s blood can kill viruses, and his internal organs may be capable of regeneration. Without divulging specifics, so that the fame and resultant wealth will be his alone, Laden offers to pay for organ transplants for three patients residing in various states. He chooses intellectually disabled Evelyn Stroman; Tyler Carson, who has Down syndrome; and Jason Scott, who suffers from Parkinson’s. Laden is certainly hopeful but can’t quite anticipate the changes that these patients ultimately experience. What happens to them leads to a startling level of violence both within and outside the patients’ lives. Jefferson’s horror story is harsh, frightening, and frequently graphic. While the book initially centers on Laden and his experiments, the latter half shifts to the transplant recipients, primarily Evelyn. The author’s prose throughout is crisp, unflinchingly detailing scenes of rape, mutilation, and spurting blood. The majority of the characters are unsympathetic, particularly Evelyn’s appalling, callous mother, Margaret. As such, some individuals subjected to brutality won’t earn much pity from readers. This nevertheless does not allay the novel’s disconcerting tone, which courses through the entirety of the narrative. Specifics on John and his perplexing condition don’t surface until the end, though much of the plot remains unresolved by the sequel-teasing denouement.

An edgy, terrifying, and shocking tale for hardcore horror fans.

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4834-8508-9

Page Count: 170

Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2020

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller


Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A well-turned, if predictable, installment in the popular series.


With the United States the “closest [it’s] been to war” in a lifetime, intelligence operative Jack Ryan Jr. faces stiff odds in trying to avert disaster with China.

Trouble with China begins brewing (yet again in the Clancy books) with the rendition of a Chinese scientist and the killing of his American brother, a specialist in machine learning. With a sniper attack on the German outpost of The Campus, Ryan’s “off-the-books” agency, and the downing of an American plane over the South China Sea, U.S. efforts to recover a Chinese undersea glider capable of detecting a $3 billion American stealth submarine are in jeopardy. Things look especially grim with the capture of crash survivor John Clark, Ryan’s boss and a close compadre of his father, President Jack Ryan Sr. With Ryan Sr. still shaken by the abduction of his wife a year ago and Ryan Jr. doubtful of his abilities as a team leader, it's up to intelligence director Mary Pat Foley to calm the waters with her expertise and strong will. One possible outcome is a Chinese attack on Taiwan. In Bentley’s third outing in the series, it takes a while to get past cookie cutter stuff: Many pages go by before the reader knows what all the tense language, chase scenes, and international travel are about. But the book's cool, checkerboard efficiency eventually takes hold. And the streaks of vulnerability that run through the Ryans impart a human dimension that most such thrillers lack. Bentley also takes pains to distinguish the novel from fake fiction: “Unlike in the movies, getting struck by a rifle round moving at several thousand feet per second was not insignificant.”

A well-turned, if predictable, installment in the popular series.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9780593422786

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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