Deprivation

Roy Freirich. Meerkat, $17.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-946154-21-7
On New York’s Carratuck Island, physician Sam Carlson, the hero of this chilling thriller from Freirich (Winged Creatures), is confronted with a perplexing mystery when a grimy boy, with symptoms of having been severely traumatized, shows up on the beach. The child’s refusal to talk or write down anything that would help identify him hinders efforts to reunite him with his family. His appearance seems to trigger a bizarre outbreak of insomnia on Carratuck, a baffling phenomenon that leads Carlson to fear that some sort of biohazard or terrorist weapon may be responsible. After tests fail to reveal any organic cause, Carlson speculates that mass hysteria is keeping his neighbors from getting any rest. The outbreak turns fatal and, after days of sleep deprivation among the islanders, panic rises, forcing the doctor to take desperate measures. Anthropomorphized inanimate objects (“the moonlit sea pauses and sighs and lifts itself, before falling back, and lifting again”) add to the feeling of paranormal menace. Horror fans looking for unconventional scares will be grateful. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/09/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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