ANCESTRAL by Nathan Field

ANCESTRAL

From the "The Many" series, volume 2
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A man and a woman, both victimized by a faceless organization, hope to enact their vengeance by exposing the covert group in this sequel.

Karl Morgan is brandishing a false ID when he arrives at Damian Kerr’s house in Connecticut. He’s there under the pretense of belonging to the same secret organization as Kerr. But what Karl truly wants is revenge for his dead sister, who—along with countless other women unwittingly participating in the group’s “program”—was a rape victim. Joining Karl in his quest for retribution is Dawn Flint, who endured the same sexual trauma. Following an intense interrogation of Kerr, the two allies have a name for the covert outfit (The Many) and a destination of New York. But information on The Many is scarce—likewise the number of people willing to talk about it. Unfortunately, Karl and Dawn are frighteningly oblivious as to the full extent of the group’s reach. They soon have reason to believe The Many is aware of their plan but wants them alive. This ultimately prompts Dawn to make a momentous decision that will surely impact everyone—for better or worse. Field’s (The Many, 2016, etc.) thriller, like his preceding novel, is an often bleak endeavor. The plot largely consists of Karl and Dawn’s relentless search for intelligence. But there are also harrowing instances of Dawn suffering aftereffects of her rape; she unleashes her cruel ire on a woman at a bar with little provocation. In addition, both Karl and Dawn exhibit paranoid tendencies, which ramps up suspense, as it seems anyone could be one of The Many. Field’s prose generates fraught scenes throughout: “He’d been on the lookout for sideways glances from passing cars, headlights in the rear-view mirror, and helicopters buzzing overhead.” The final act entails a time jump, a shocking character turn, and an unsettling conclusion.

A frequently unnerving and intense thriller, with enough lingering uncertainty for a third installment.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2018
Page count: 259pp
Publisher: manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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