A Familiar Gothic Tale Set In The Future!
Nearing the year 2100 CE, Chief of Police, Ada “Charging Deer” Wicker investigates a double-murder in Rosebud, South Dakota—home of the Sicangu Oyate Sioux Nation. Her only suspect is a white doctor who lives in a castle, along with his automatons, on the edge of town. As the evidence against the doctor mounts, Ada knows she must solve this case quickly or risk the townspeople’s terrible wrath.
Complete with pipe organ, a creepy mansion, an automaton run amok, and a mad scientist lookalike to boot, “The Interceptor’s Song” is quite reminiscent of a popular and familiar Gothic horror. Still, it manages to thrill as a futuristic “Who-done-it?”. One gets the sense that this story is being stripped from the pages of Shelley’s “Frankenstein” in that there is a scientist who creates a “monster” that is suspected of murder, causing an ensuing mob scene when Chief Ada’s investigation is disrupted by a band of angry townsfolk seeking to persecute the beleaguered doctor for the murder of two young boys.
Crook’s characters are well-developed and their motives are understandable—particularly Chief Ada, who is a strong lead, assuming responsibility for a difficult investigation while deferring to cooler and wiser heads when needed. The doctor is an isolated man, keeping automatons for his own service and company, but answering the call to aid a sick child when duty calls. The townsfolk react as townsfolk are expected to, while an additional cast of secondary characters bolster the tale with back-stories that peak the reader’s interest on a more intimate level.
I should note that this book does contain adult language and themes. There were also some technical issues with the author’s manuscript in that the Kindle edition that I read contained formatting issues in first few paragraphs of most chapters as well as a strange “box” that takes the place of a period in about a half-dozen-or-so sentences. These issues, however, were only a minor distraction to the overall enjoyment of the novel.
Like Shelley, Crook’s plotline is sound and manages to hold a reader’s attention with a driven tale and enough variations on the characters and their circumstances to warrant one’s interest. All in all, “The Interceptor’s Song” is a good dystopian read for any young adult/adult looking to curl up on the sofa with a good Gothic-style horror on a dark and stormy night.
Find “The Interceptor’s Song” by Frederick H. Crook on Amazon & Kindle here.
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