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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Path Of Night by Dirk Flinthart. Fablecroft Publishing, 2013

After being killed horribly by a creature out of a horror movie, medical student Mick Devlin  wakes to find himself in the morgue and, soon after, on the run. He had cut himself on an exploding vial of some mystery substance being studied by a now-dead scientist working at the hospital and, as well as coming back to life he now has super speed and strength and sharp night vision. Thing is, as he discovers, he's supposed to have turned into a cannibalistic monster like the one who killed him, but the only side effects appear to be a tendency to burn easily in the sun and eat a lot - ordinary food, not human flesh.

With a grumpy female police detective right out of a noir novel, he tries to find out what's going on - not easy when being hunted by two top secret societies which have the government's ear. 

There are many of the typical elements of an airport paranormal thriller - secret societies, a mysterious substance discovered on an archaeological dig, a cop who's been told to drop the case, nonstop action, explosions, characters being badly injured but somehow soldiering on after a bit of first aid, gruesome killings. Somehow, though, it all works. Unlike many of those thrillers, the main characters are likeable and there are humorous elements, such as waking in an evil society's lab strapped to a gurney to find, not a gloating villain, but three innocent doctors who haven't a clue they're henchmen or that he isn't a mental patient needing shock therapy, arguing over having to use code names. And unlike in The Da Vinci Code, most characters do stop to eat and sleep, not only the perpetually famished Mick. 

Definitely a change from Dirk Flinthart's usual swashbuckling fantasy, but still, action adventure. I read it over a weekend. 

Read it on the beach, but make sure you're not too close to the water or you might get caught by the tide.

Available as either ebook or print on line directly from Fablecroft Publishng, whose publisher and editor, Tehani Wessely, has been interviewed on this site, or, if you live in Australia, you can also buy it in the dealers' room at SF conventions..


Flinthart said...

Reckon you've about nailed it, Ma'am.

I quite like the odd thriller, but yes, there are elements I dislike. And I wanted to play around with some of those elements to have fun. "Fun" being the operative word.

The sequel to the critter is tentatively entitled "Midnight in Chinatown", and it's well underway as we speak.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Dirk, your novel was a hoot! I am looking forward to reading the next one.