Saturday, May 12, 2007
'Rebirth' by Scott McKenzie
Author: Scott McKenzie
Price: $19.99, paperback
Point of Sale: Lulu
A well-written horror novel, “Rebirth” thrills with rapid-fire, edgy suspense, keeping the reader entranced. Mantek Pharmaceuticals is bombed, leaving two security guards and one research assistant dead. The company’s leading research science team, Dr. Owen and Dr. Forrest are missing. As clues surface the scenario becomes more opaque as twists and turns flourish when key suspects begin disappearing. More puzzling are the two groups of men battling against time to locate and apprehend the doctors, both leaving in their wake unexplainable carnage.
In a seedy motel outside of the city, Dr. Andrew Owen contemplates his role as “the savior of humanity”. Even on the run, he feels the pull of responsibility in finding a cure but right now staying alive is his primary focus. After a full night’s rest, he will get in touch with Dr. Forrest. From a deep slumber, Andrew feels tightness around his neck as a chloroform rag covers his mouth.
Agent Jane Simpson of the World Health Organization ends her vacation after receiving a call about the Mantek bombing. Her job is to track contagious diseases while finding their cure. Working closely with Dr. Owen just part of that job, helping him to contain and study a deadly blood disorder that travels freely amid the world’s population. On the scene before the police arrive affords her an opportunity to gather enough evidence without revealing all she knows to the investigating officers. Yet, the Detective assigned to the case is good… too good.
Homicide Detective Tom Ryder takes on a triple murder and bombing case, averting his much needed vacation. Being the best defines his foregoing any downtime. Arriving on the scene, he meets a W.H.O. investigator, a youthful woman who knows more then she is telling. As they begin to interview suspects, it becomes apparent to Tom that they are constantly one-step behind someone else.
Provoking more suspense, a team of elite solders, called The Brotherhood, ardently searches for the scientists. Two of their black vans pull up in front of Dr. Forrest’ home, within minutes the team is dead. In another part of the city, one more team in black vans leaves Dr. Owen’s home, after ransacking the place searching for clues to his whereabouts. That team then goes to Forrest’s home where they retrieve Dr. Owen from the enemy’s clutches. This move puts Tom and Jane on their tail, which ends with the police tactical unit massacred on the highway as The Brotherhood escapes with Dr. Owen.
The mystery deepens as the identity of The Brotherhood remains murky, and then their urgent need for Mantek’s researchers leaves the reader wondering. More importantly who is the enemy they are fighting, and why. Meanwhile, Tom becomes aware of Jane’s omission of knowledge. After leaving an autopsy, Tom intervenes on an assault against a homeless man; the attacker is Myers, the officer killed at Forrest’s home. The evidence and events begin to snap into place, but more secrets need revealed, ramping up the bloody horror in pictorial detail.
Mr. McKenzie scripts plenty of characters to keep the fast pace plot moving, sprinkling witty sarcasm to lighten the intense mood. All the while, the reader is pushed and pulled from one group of good guys to the next, leaving one speculating who can be trusted. Still who is to say which group is good and evil, as they each have their own agenda to support their cause? “Rebirth” is an energizing story that remains long after reading it.
AVERAGE RATING: 8.2/10
Reviewed by: In August of 2006, Pamela broke into book review writing with Erotic Escapades, but writes for The Erotic Bookworm, The Muse Book Reviews, Romance At Heart, and now POD People. Her own web site, Chewing the Bone exhibits book reviews in multilple genres, including children and young adult fiction. With all that she has going on Pamela finds time to dabble in flash-fic writing. Although, she doesn't aspire in becoming a published novelist, because it would take valuable time away from her first love... reading.