Percy’s haunting, well-crafted prose frequently elevates the mundanity and isolation of being human into something otherworldly in his genre-bending collection (after The Dark Net). The brisk, cleverly written puzzler “Suspect Zero” begins with a body found in a train car and invites readers to follow the clues to the killer’s identity. In the chilling “The Cold Boy,” a man finds his young nephew trapped beneath the ice of a frigid lake and fears the worst, but the boy survives, and his relief soon gives way to terror. In the visceral, but strangely affecting “Heart of a Bear,” an injured bear covets a family’s humanity, leading to tragic results. In the title story, a man employs a disturbing experiment meant to induce a fear of death in a group of suicidal people, and an ember of hope burns at the heart of “The Balloon,” which follows two lonely survivors during the dark days of a pandemic. In the exceedingly creepy novella “The Uncharted,” a risk-averse employee of a virtual map making company joins a dangerous rescue mission to retrieve a team that went missing in a part of Alaska dubbed the Bermuda Triangle of the North. This gripping, often unnerving collection showcases Percy’s talent as a skilled, versatile storyteller. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/17/2019 Release date: 10/15/2019 Genre: Fiction
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