Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Hollow City-Dan Wells

The Hollow City

Dan Wells

Tor, Jul 3 2012, $25.95

ISBN: 9780765331700

Delusional Michael Shipman suffers from hallucinations as he is schizophrenic. Because he is paranoid Michael also suffers from the obsessive belief that The Faceless Men pursue him. Awakening in a hospital, he wants to know where his girlfriend Lucy is while the medical staff assumes there is no Lucy or girlfriend as he is mentally divergent (in layman’s terms – crazy). However, Dr. Murray becomes concerned beyond the patient’s well-being when Michael mentions the Faceless men. The doctor asks him if he knows about Chicago’s Red Line Killer who leaves victims without their visage.

Reporter Kelly Fischer sneaks into his room to get an exclusive. When she mentions the Children of the Earth; Michael reacts by saying their leader Milos Cerny killed his mother after he was born so he will kill them. Stunned she says almost all the victims belong to the Children of the Earth. To his horror, Michael is taken to Powell, a psychiatric hospital that he has been sent to before. There he observes The Faceless Men hunting him. Michael flees the hospital with a plan to uncover the identity of the Red Line Killer, learn the truth about the Children of the Earth, and locate The Hollow City that has haunted his memories seemingly forever.

John Wayne Cleaver was a fascinating refreshing protagonist, but Michael Shipman as a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from some amnesiac has an even more unique voice as he even he distrusts his memories and his ability to distinguish realoty from fantasy. Think of the movie A Beautiful Mind but instead of a university the venue is a serial killer. Fans will appreciate this exciting thriller wondering what the truth is and whether Michael is the Red Line Killer.

Harriet Klausner

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