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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Death's Pale Flag is a work of fiction in the psychological thriller and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to mature teen and adult readers owing to some dark themes but no graphic descriptions. Penned by author Gary Simonds, in this chilling work, we find ourselves immersed in the dark world of medical trauma and neuroscience when our protagonist Ryan Brenan starts to believe he is encountering ghosts. Frayed to his last nerve, Ryan has to wonder if the ghosts are real or if something in his brain has given way to chaos. Exploring strain, burnout, and psychological exhaustion with a thrilling paranormal twist, we follow with bated breath the turns of Ryan’s life to see where his adventures take him.
Author Gary Simonds offers a unique novel unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and the themes and combination of different genres are something I’d love to see more of in the medical thriller field. It is clear that Simonds knows the field well and speaks from personal experience in the world of neurosurgery, as the novel has a clinical overtone that provides a great level of professional detail. The narrative balances this out perfectly with the presence of our workaholic protagonist Ryan Brenan, who becomes more and more relatable as his life and struggles are revealed to us. The paranormal elements are believably incorporated and really highlight the mystery and psychological aspects of the plot well. Overall, Death's Pale Flag is a fascinating, detailed, and engrossing novel that I would certainly recommend for medical, psychological, and paranormal thriller fans alike, as it has much to satisfy all these groups and so much more.