Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: Lucas Manson by Thomas Hauck

“When Special Agent Mark Dylan investigates a gruesome homicide, he uncovers the terrifying world of the Kingdom Seven Family Temple and its leader, the charismatic and ruthless Minister Lucas Manson. As Dylan and his partner Jill Kelly penetrate the secret inner sanctum of the temple, they learn that friends cannot be distinguished from enemies. The vast and powerful temple holds dark secrets that will change their lives forever.”

Lucas Manson first starts as a typical crazy cult/serial killer/police procedural novel – still interesting and well-written, but nonetheless a little bland. However, as the book progressed it thankfully added some unexpected twists and turns that took the story in an entirely surprising direction. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that the book reinvents a classic monster archetype in an entirely new way!

Besides the unexpected surprises the book holds, Lucas Manson is thrilling and action-packed. It encompasses many locations, from Boston to Egypt to Arizona to New York, keeping the action moving at a quick clip. From unraveling an ancient mystery in Egypt to tracking the rock star-like U.S. tour of the Kingdom Seven Family Temple to breaking into the cult’s heavily guarded compound in Arizon, Special Agent Mark Dylan careens through an action-packed landscape of grisly murders and centuries-old mysticism.

The murders aren’t especially gory, but fit quite well into the overall tone of the book. Despite not being gory, they pack quite a punch, as victims are drugged in a very unique way and then bled through several incisions in their arteries until their bodies are drained of blood. And it just gets creepier after you learn why the victims are being drained of blood!

However, the book does have its flaws. It gets off to a rocky start, including an awkward introduction of lead character Mark Dylan when he’s working undercover that has no bearing on the rest of the book. It then jumps directly into Dylan and his wife’s problems with getting pregnant, a character development ploy that doesn’t really go anywhere and drags on far too long. It doesn’t really have any impact on the rest story, and it didn’t help me feel more for the lead character either.

Despite these bumps in the road, once the novel takes off it really takes you for a ride! It may start off as a typical killer cult book, but it has plenty of twists and turns that elevate it far beyond any “standard” horror fare.

Check it out on Amazon!

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