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Eat the Dark    by Joe Schreiber order for
Eat the Dark
by Joe Schreiber
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2007 (2007)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

Tanglewood Memorial Hospital just another health care unit closing down, its facilities moved to a brand new state-of-the-art replacement. On the evening to which we are witness, no one is around save a handful of staff: Dr. Walker, a pediatric neurology specialist; Mike Hughes, a medical technician in charge of the MRI and X-ray units; and Jolie Braun, one of the best looking nurses in the hospital. Steve Calhoun, an obnoxious and alcoholic security guard, rounds out the hospital staff.

Suddenly this quiet, uneventful last night in the hospital is turned upside down: Frank Snow, a notorious serial killer, is wheeled in through the emergency department with a six-member police escort. Dr. Walker tells his staff that Snow is here for an emergency brain scan because of recurring headaches, and what better place to do it than this facility when no one else is around?

Sarah, Mike's wife, unexpectedly arrives with their three year old son Eli. Sarah is convinced that Mike is having an affair with the bombshell Jolie, and wants to confront Mike; she has evidence in the form of a note from Jolie, found in Mike's jacket, and a receipt for some very expensive jewellery.

Everything begins to unravel, and the horrific games begin when the hospital's power, and then the generators, fail. Somehow Snow manages to touch every individual to their quick, manipulating them through fear, horror and illusion, to do his bidding, pitting one against the other in a battle for their cooperation. What is Frank's ultimate objective? What is there about Frank that makes the hackles rise, what kind of unnatural being is he?

This was an engaging book; it was difficult to put down and the tempo was fast, even heart-thumping, at times. However, in my opinion, as we come to understand Frank Snow a little more, the horror effects are diluted as the scenario becomes more and more bizarre. Schreiber's fantasy doesn't work well enough through the whole book it is just a little predictable at times.

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