Dr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a groundbreaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past.
Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star. The enigmatic Emmeline shares a pouring of absinthe with him, brushes his arm and vanishes.
As he pursues her through the brooding nighttime city, desperate to see her again, he simultaneously becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation that has the police stymied - men gone missing, fished out of the bay, with no clue as to how they met their end - until Caleb's analysis of the chemical markers in their bodies reveals that each one was tortured to death. Also present are some of the key components of absinthe.
As Caleb finally looks forward to a night spent alone with Emmeline, part of his mind wonders if behind the seductive vision is something utterly terrifying....
©2016 Jonathan Moore (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group
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"Could have been so much better"
I had really high hopes for this in the beginning. The concept was excellent but without spoiling anything it was all a bit disappointing. Kind of felt cheated with the time invested in this book and I don't very often say that.
am still not entirely sure what I just listened to. Very confusing story. Took a while to get going, started getting interesting and then just got plain weird.
"A Stephen King recommended read that is superb!"
I listened to this as part of a group read a long on good reads.
Everyone in the group said the beginning was unusual, the reader left feeling disjointed and unsure of what was happening. Read on, those group members said who had read the book......
Once the story is unraveled the reader is finally punched into reality. And wow, this is fantastic story that is shocking and psychologically pretty scary.
A brilliant novel, superbly presented as audiobook and well recommended.
"meh, didn't do it for me"
I kept waiting for this story to grip me but it never did. I found little in it to surprise me, although there were some interesting devices.
I think the narration didn't really help - the female voices were just a bit weird.
I didn't Not enjoy it but wouldn't recommend it either - a good idea that could have been great
"Very good but..."
I always find it difficult to hear a male narrator speaking the parts of female characters. Why do we have to come across as these whiny annoying creatures? I'd rather have the lines of text narrated in his normal voice rather than a misplaced high pitch.
Other than that...good cadence and rhythm which lends to the atmospheric tones of the book
Disappointing end ... Wish it had been a little more definitive but overall nice development of characters
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