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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
When an undergraduate student steals an ancient ceremonial dagger to pay a gambling debt, all hell is unleashed on an unsuspecting and unprepared populace. Found under the ice in Antarctica, the dagger has been found to be many millions of years old. This is no ordinary dagger, but an artifact that predates man’s history, emanating from a primordial past. When the bodies of people who come in contact with the dagger start turning up with strange and devastating wounds, Washington DC Homicide Detective Sam Hardin realizes that these crimes are out of the ordinary. But can one take seriously the possibility that the ancient horrors of the past, now part of mythology, have revived and are searching for a special someone, someone that might be the closest person to Sam? This dark malevolence has found a home in an unsuspecting Vietnam veteran, Jack Griffith, taking over his mind and body, and manipulating him to achieve its purpose. In a race against time, Sam and Jack clash, pitting mere mortality and pathetically weak human weapons against something supernatural, overpowering and diabolical. Can Sam save his family, and conquer this evil? Is this the beginning of the end, always predicted in Doomsday scenarios? The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
A nail-biting, spine-chilling read that will take readers to the edge of their seats! Author Richard Shiver knows how to crank up the tension and bring out the scary monsters. The book had me riveted from page one. The author has an excellent grasp of characterization, bringing each character to life, and getting under their skins, and tapping into their worst nightmares and blackest memories. The pace never slackens, racing along with the reader in tow, on a breathtaking and electrifying ride. Masterly descriptions tease the reader’s imagination as the author depicts what happens both internally and externally as characters fight for their souls. I couldn’t put the book down once I had started reading.
Richard Shiver acknowledges the influences of authors H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe and filmmaker John Carpenter, but he has created something new and fascinating in this work. I enjoyed the surprise ending that suggests there could be another book in the making. Fans of horror, thriller, and ancient mysteries will simply love this book. Highly recommended.