"The nightmare had been repeating more frequently, leaving him in a dreamlike state, semi-conscious but paralyzed and speechless."
The medical profession meets the FBI in this engaging book that takes the reader on a quest from New York to South America, Spain, and eventually Key West. A doctor with a bag full of troubles teams with a special agent whose motive for tracking down a killer is as personal as it is professional. Together they both put their lives on the line to unearth secrets from World War II that hold the key to present and, potentially, future crimes.
Paul, a physician, is going through a problematic divorce. A brutal murder and an accidental death (that may not have been an accident at all) put him in contact with Karen, an FBI agent. She enlists his less-than-enthusiastic aid in her search for what could be a serial killer. Before you know it, they’re dashing off to two different continents looking for answers that point to a renowned practitioner in Paul’s own hospital. As the two get closer to the information they need, their lives are put in grave danger. Will they solve the mystery? Will they catch a killer? More importantly, will they live to tell about it?
Glendell is a good storyteller. He keeps the pace swift, the clues continually piling up, and he saves some shocking surprises for the finale. A tendency in spots to rely on exposition rather than actual character interaction lessens the story’s impact to a degree, but one is still compelled to follow both the plot and the author's principal players to their eventual outcomes. This is a novel that can be read rapidly, comprehended easily, and thoroughly enjoyed by fans of adventurous thrillers.
A doctor’s life is in disarray. An FBI agent is on the trail of a killer. An esteemed medical man may or may not be a monstrous ex-Nazi. A monastery in Spain may hold the key to a generational mystery. All these elements combine to create an intriguing multi-dimensional thriller in Jay Glendell’s novel, Waking Dead.
Paul is a doctor going through a crisis. He’s suffering from horrifying nightmares that don’t always end when he wakes up. His job’s long hours are taking a physical toll. His impending divorce and potential loss of his children are making his mental state fragile. Then things get even worse. The ex-wife of a doctor (and friend) in the hospital where he works is brutally murdered. Soon after, his friend is hit and killed in what is initially thought to be a hit-and-run accident—but was it really accidental?
Karen is an FBI agent with an incredible story and an even more unimaginable plan. She tells Paul that the highly regarded senior physician at the hospital where he works may well be a serial killer plus a fugitive from heinous crimes committed during World War II. She coerces Paul into joining her investigation that will take them to South
America and then on to Europe in hopes of uncovering a hoax which has allowed a psychopathic degenerate to continue his murderous ways for years.
Their quest for answers will lead them on a dangerous journey that culminates in gun battles, life and death decisions and surprises neither one of them could have imagined—but will it end with justice being served?
Glendell is a skilled writer who keeps his tale moving forward swiftly. Important information is deftly revealed piece by piece. His characters are finely drawn both physically and psychologically—the minor ones as well as the major players. The way he tells his story however, often puts a degree of emotional distance between the reader and what is being read. Parts of the story are told via informational prose that could have been dramatized more forcefully if played out in interpersonal dialogue between the participants. Still, he manages to infuse his narrative with intrigue and energy that makes one want to know what will happen next.
This tome will likely conjure memories of Ira Levin’s novel The Boys From Brazil, and the movie that was subsequently made from it. The author realizes that however, and is wily enough to even insert a reference to the aforementioned book and film in his story. If you like a good tale well told, chances are you’ll enjoy the experience of Waking Dead.