Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: THE NIGHTMARE PLACE, by Steve Mosby

Steve Mosby
Pegasus Books, 2014
328 pages
Detective / Thriller

THE NIGHTMARE PLACE was my first ever Steve Mosby book. And right off the bat, the one thing that threw me off balance in this crime novel, this thriller, was that the police detectives do not carry guns. Or own them. Maybe it is because I am American, or have seen too many movies, and cop shows, whatever the reason I was stunned a bit by this. I even googled it, and with the exception of Northern Ireland, in the United Kingdom, only specially trained firearms officers carry a gun. It was at the beginning of the book when the main character, Detective Inspector Zoe Dolan had hidden hammers, and knives throughout her home. And not one handgun. Hmmm What do ya know? Learned something new.

Anywho . . . THE NIGHTMARE PLACE was the kind of thriller I knocked off in a sitting. A serial rapist is on the loose. He has a distinct calling card. He manages to get into houses without a trace, and after his brutal attacks, he tends to flee through a, now, wide open first floor window.

Police have five victims, and no leads. Things are looking bleak. The rapist has a type. The women are mid-twenties. Uniquely beautiful. And live alone.

Detective Inspectors Zoe Dolan and Chris Sands notice a growing trend. Each victim has been beaten after the rape. Only thing is, the beatings are progressively worse each time. How long before the rapist takes things to far and actually murders one of his victims?

Unfortunately, the officers don't have to wait too long before that question is answered.

When Jane started a volunteer position with a telephone helpline, she understood the rules. All calls were confidential. If they weren't, no one would ever call. The confidentiality made people feel safe about reaching out for help. The organization, Mayday, has helped many people over the years because of this rule. However, Jane realizes keeping calls confidential might go against her every fiber when the serial rapist starts calling Mayday and confessing his crimes to her. Torn, she isn't sure if she should honor the rules of her position, or take the information she has and share it with the police.

THE NIGHTMARE PLACE is a fast, and gripping thriller. I enjoyed Mosby's writing style, and character development. Spliced into the action-packed narrative, we learn so much about Zoe, her youth, and her fears, that she became more of a person, and less of a fictional character. Mosby managed to give this personification to most of the central characters, as well. I was engaged from the opening page, until I set the book down hours later. I do look forward to more by Steve Mosby . . . now where is my Amazon card? Ah--there it is! Excuse me. I've orders to make.

Phillip Tomasso
Author of The Severed Empire Series, and
The Vaccination Trilogy

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