Thursday, 23 February 2017

#bookreview ~ Quincunx I #scific #fantasy @larrydshack


Quincunx I

By

Larry Shackelford

 

Quincunx I is a fast-paced urban fantasy/science fiction romance story that takes place in the small town of Neosho in Southwestern Missouri, where classified military research was conducted on prisoners of war detainees at nearby Camp Crowder during WWII. Unbeknownst to the locals, the abandoned military base is home to a subterranean species of human mutants. When local students suddenly go missing, law enforcement officials are alerted to the presence of thousands of violent creatures that quickly manifest to the surface and wreak havoc on the military and the American Midwest. The terrifying creatures carry a mysterious virus that is highly contagious and lethal. Scientists and military experts must work furiously against the clock to unravel government secrets and contain the bloodthirsty mutants. Dr. Judy Davis is a professor of Genetics and Anthropology at a University in St. Louis, Missouri. Over fifteen years ago, she was tasked by the government to complete a top-secret research project at Camp Crowder. Her findings were alarming and unprecedented; however, her report was never released to the public and she was led to believe that the human test subjects did not survive. When the Camp Crowder specimens present an immediate global threat to human health and safety, she is partnered with a humorless FBI Special Agent, Max Guthrie, to assist in the investigation. One of the missing students, Brian, is the teenaged son of a local high school English teacher, Paul Cameron. Paul is frustrated by the local sheriff's apparent apathy and goes to search for his son. Meanwhile, Brian escapes with Judy, Max, and a medical examiner, Dr. Janet Wiggins, after a failed attempt by the U.S. military and FBI to eliminate the formidable creatures from the area's underground caves. The survivors take refuge at Paul's great-grandpa Jake's farm house, located a few miles outside of Neosho, where the family is reunited. The creatures soon surface. Social media warns the general public about the pending epidemic and chaos ensues. It is soon discovered that the virus carried by the creatures is not only transmitted by contact, but after a brief incubation period, the virus becomes airborne. Troy Miller, another FBI agent, convinces everyone to travel to the west coast where his brother is waiting with a boat. They determine they have a better chance of survival if they flee to the Hawaiian Islands. The government shuts down all media communication in an attempt to control the flow of information. Paul and the others embark on a cross-country road trip from Neosho to Los Angeles to meet up with Troy's brother before it is too late.

What did I make of the book?

Think The Walking Dead but with mutants!

Do not go to Camp Crowder, strange things have happened there. That is what the teenagers of the small town of "Neosho" in Southwestern Missouri, have been told. But hey, that is just a story to frighten little kids from hurting themselves in the dilapidated buildings…isn’t it?

The local law enforcement is used to prank calls from board teenagers ~ it is a small town, after all, ~ so when they get a call from a young girl, screaming down that phone, and begging them to come to Camp Crowder, they do not take it seriously. They do not send out a patrol. But when worried parents contact them the next day about their missing teenagers, they decided to take a quick look at Camp Crowder. It is then, they realise, their grave mistake.

Dr Judy Davis ~ a professor of Genetics and Anthropology at the University in St. Louis, Missouri ~ hoped never to hear of Camp Crowder again. For she is one of those unlucky few who knows the truth. Judy knows about the secret experiments that took place there. Fast-forward fifteen years ~ Judy mistakenly believes that the past is behind her. Judy had thought that all the test subjects had been destroyed. She realises now that she was wrong.

I have never read a book so fast in my life! The action in Quincunx I was non-stop, and the storyline was gripping. This is a sit-on-the-edge of your seat read that turns Midwest America into a dystopian world of nightmares.

I was a little concerned, initially, about the tense in which this story is told ~ it switches from First to Third Person. This is a difficult thing to pull off without losing the momentum of the story, but Shackleford nailed it, and in this book it totally works.

The characterisation is fantastic. I particularly liked Grandpa Jake ~ he may be in his eighties, but he wasn't going to go down without a fight, and some of the things he came out made me chuckle.

Quincunx I is a great read, and it is definitely on my repeat to read list.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author




Larry was raised in southwest Missouri where he received his college degree, but he received his education after he graduated and began working in a maximum-security federal prison. After spending two years behind bars, he continued his law enforcement career as a criminal investigator, residing and working in eight states and two foreign countries. Larry retired from law enforcement after twenty-five years of service and resides in Salt Lake City with his wife and cat.

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