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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Hidden Demon by Fish Phillips is a futuristic action thriller designed to keep you breathless and unsettled until the last page. The year is 2044. Despite taking a bullet for the U.S. president, Secret Service Agent Dee Johnson is considered a failure in her mission because of the multiple casualties resulting from the assassination attempt. It was deemed tactical but with no strategy or vision. While recuperating from her wounds, she meets with her immediate superior and learns that she is fired. While adjusting to civilian life, she discovers that a conspiracy was at work to have her kicked out of the service. Meanwhile, a string of bizarre attacks on politicians is taking place. It is believed to be the workings of a demon that stems from an urban legend. With another disgraced agent, Ko Hashimoto, Johnson tracks the demon in the Shenandoah Forest to determine whether such a monster exists or some corrupt entities are at work.
Fish Phillips is very accurate yet cautious in how he parses out information leading to the mystery that builds the plot. You will find yourself empathizing with Johnson at the very start and having difficulty identifying who to trust. Phillips delivers an atmospheric thriller and uses a unique idea rarely explored in fiction. The idea of using urban legends in warfare has long been a psychological tactic used to demoralize target enemies. You take it scene by scene, become a captive audience, and let the characters’ intelligence and emotions unravel the unanswered questions that lead to their redemption. Most of all, Hidden Demon is a fast-paced thriller in which the elements of fear and intrigue blend well together. To anyone looking for a thriller with a brilliant storyline, I highly recommend Hidden Demon.