I have been a fan of Ray Garton for a long time so I know the style of hard-hitting action and terror to expect from one of his books. I was very excited to have a copy of his newest novel, “Frankenstorm,” and was happy to tear into the book hoping to be both entertained and terrified.
The homeless around Eureka, California, have been disappearing for a while. Not that anyone has noticed. After all, these are homeless people and they tend to move from place to place on a regular basis. One man, who many think is at least on the edge of insanity in spite of the legions of faithful that listen to his radio show, is convinced that they have not just left but have been captured by the government and are being used as test subjects. His plan to unveil the web of deceit behind the disappearances comes to a head on the same night that the biggest storm in Northern California history is set to hit the coast.
All hell is literally about to break loose as the homeless prisoners, now test subject for a virus that turns them into killing machines, are set free as the hurricane slams the coast. The horror of the storm is only rivaled by the horror inside of the hospital turned secret government lab. It is not sure how many will survive the storm and the other horrors of the night. The only thing certain is that nothing will ever be the same again.
I probably would not have given “Frankenstorm” a try if it were not for the fact that I know just how good Ray Garton is. After all, this book has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the single worst titles ever that immediately brought to mind an awful, made-for-television movie. That being said, the book definitely deserves to be read and I hope that the terrible title will not scare away prospective readers. This is not Garton at his best but it is still better than a lot of the rest. This is a fast paced and straightforward tale of terror that, while lacking monsters, definitely feels like a monster novel. In fact, one could almost replace the escaped test subjects with zombies and the book would not lose much, so maybe there are monsters (other than the human kind, of course) within these pages. Regardless, Garton is a master at writing entertaining horror novels and this is just another example of his talent.
I found out after I read this book that it was actually released as a series of ebooks and is not collected into one complete volume. That type of distribution is interesting and I am curious to see if it is something that will catch on. A lot of the “classic” novels were released in this fashion as they were first published chapter by chapter but then the practice went out of vogue. The ebook format gives this practice new life and I wonder if it will become the wave of the future. In any regard, this is the second good horror novel from Kensington Press I have read in the last couple weeks and I know that the publisher is on my radar. If you have never read Ray Garton’s works before, give this book a read for a glimpse into the mind of a modern master of horror.
I would like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for this review copy. “Frankenstorm” is available now.