Title: Liquid Fear
Author: Scott Nicholson
Page Count: 745 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: Haunted Computer Books
Genre: mystery thriller
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review
When Roland Doyle wakes up with a dead woman in his motel room, the only clue is a mysterious vial of pills bearing the label “Take one every 4 hrs or else.”
Ten years before, six people were involved in a secret pharmaceutical trial that left one of them dead and five unable to remember what happened. Now the experiment is continuing, as Dr. Sebastian Briggs concludes his research into fear response and post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s backed by a major drug company and an ambitious U.S. Senator, but he also has a personal stake in the outcome.
Only by taking the mysterious pills can the survivors stave off the creeping phobias, sexual impulses, and inflicted madness that threaten to consume them. But the pills have an unexpected side effect—the survivors start remembering the terrible acts they perpetrated a decade ago. They are lured back to the Monkey House, the remote facility where the original trials took place, and Briggs has prepared it for their return.
Now they are trapped, they each have only one pill left, and cracks are forming in their civilized veneer.
After the pills are gone, there’s only one option. “Or else.”
One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small...Scott Nicholson, the creative guy behind Haunted Computer Books and friend to book bloggers all over the place, brings something different to the table with Liquid Fear, the story of a decade-old pharmaceutical trial and the secret follow up that's been planned for the original participants.
The story begins by introducing members of the fated pharmaceutical trial and briefly describing where they are now. The one thing they all had in common was that they all thought that the trial was behind them and that they were free to live their lives uninterrupted. This would have been the best thing, as the trial in question was unethical to say the least, and while they may have all volunteered for the trial, they didn't volunteer for the extreme measures that Dr. Briggs, the mastermind behind it all, had in store for them in the name of his version of science.
The narration in this story isn't linear in the sense that one person does all the narrating and we find out what we find out as the narrator learns it. Nor is there an omnipotent narrator that knows everything and dispenses wisdom as it becomes important to the story. Instead, we see what's happening from a variety of perspectives, not only of the trial participants, but also from other outside players who are brought in to carry out Dr. Briggs's plan. As a result, we have to keep all the details straight, and piece together later which ones are important to the master plan. It makes for engaging reading.
The story spirals and spirals until all the characters are thrust together and have to claw their way back from a chemical induced wasteland of fear and debauchery, if they can. The book held my interest and I really wanted to know how all the facts and twisted narrative threads would be woven together at the end.
This was my first book by Scott Nicholson but I hope it isn't my last. This story was creepy and thought-provoking and will definitely make you take a moment and consider the impact that drugs can truly have.
Scott Nicholson has donated a digital copy (for Kindle, Nook or iPad) of his new book, Too Many Witches! To enter, fill out the form below. Then, comment on this post (click on the link so that your comment goes on the right post) for an added shot at the $25 Amazon gift card!