4 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “Frenzy” by Pike Stephenson
The Ultimate Spine-Chiller … And a Damn Good Read!
“Frenzy” is no ordinary urban police drama. Blood seeps through the pages of this gritty horror story as disgruntled and disillusioned curmudgeon, Detective Kyle Poole, and his longtime partner, Mike, find that the suspects of their recent cases are being mercilessly stalked, brutally tortured, and massacred by a suspected vigilante turned serial killer. Poole—Stephenson’s main protagonist—is a man with few saving graces. He is a lout, a cheater, and a chain-smoker who would just as soon show up for work hung over than spend even a miniscule amount of his time trying to improve his lax social habits. His personality is abrasive, condescending, disrespectful, and often crass. But somehow, the author injects the reader with an inexplicable affinity toward this character in much the same way the two women in his life—who seem to hypnotically weigh themselves down watching over him like guardian angels waiting in the wings—seem to care.
The construction of “Frenzy” is well-thought-out and applied. The author sets a rapid pace of events that build to a head only to introduce some darker theme that was not heretofore anticipated. Although Stephenson spends a great deal of time rounding out Detective Poole’s character—and that of his main rival, Tony—his other, lesser characters are pieced together with just enough believability to ensure they are credible. Jessie—Poole’s longtime girlfriend and main love interest—is given some adequate definition, however, she and the detective’s mistress—the typical stripper with the heart of gold—are both highly representative of classic archival female stereotypes that are respectively propagated over and over again in the all-too-common Good Girl VS. Bad Girl model.
Girlfriends aside, it’s the two main protagonists, the abrasive Detective Poole and this mad and vengeful antagonist from his past, Tony, who drive this twisted tale of hate and revenge reeling off the rails and plunging into a terrible world of carnage, insanity, lust, and rage. The blood and guts run ankle deep as Poole determinedly hunts Tony down until the villain exacts a heavy toll on the detective taking him to the brink of madness as a reward for his dogged pursuit. The author holds no bars in describing the carnage and ferocity of a murderous beast set loose on the city. He takes us into a supernatural world where the need to feed is paramount, and forces the detective—along with the reader—to realize that perhaps he might be better off dead than suffer the continuous tortures he must endure at the hands of this formidable enemy—the insane and irrational Tony. Nothing can keep a good—and I use the term loosely—cop down, however, and the detective must push past his human limits in order to save the lives of his lovers, his coworkers, and his friends. Stephenson describes the ensuing confrontation between Poole and Tony down to the very last morsel, and the scene is so horrifying that it’s hard to look away. Ultimately, there is no apparent hero in this novel, just two men—Poole and Tony—who sink deeper into the belly of the beast in order to destroy one another other using any means, not to mention anyone, possible.
This tale of carnage is not for the faint of heart, and I must give a forewarning to victims of abuse and/or violence who have a tendency to experience flashbacks or PTSD when confronted by graphic content that it might be best to steer clear of this novel. For those of you with an iron constitution, however—fans of zombies, monsters, and other such unsavory creatures of the night—I’m certain you will appreciate the highly-descriptive, gory images of extreme violence that occur with the same frequency as do the innocuous commas placed throughout the text. Dedicated hard-core horror fans, I’m sure would agree that Pike Stephenson’s “Frenzy” is the ultimate spine-chiller … and a damn good read.
Find Pike Stephenson’s “Frenzy” at Amazon and Kindle athttps://www.amazon.com/Frenzy-Furys-Road-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01B5CP19G
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