ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? YOU WILL BE . . .
Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now . . .
A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven's only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn't come to their town by accident . . .
A helicopter explodes one night in the town of Safe Haven, and a team of deadly modified assassins are searching the town for somebody called Warren-torturing and killing every citizen that they find. A handful of survivors are trying to find a safe place to hide, led by the town Sheriff but these assassins will not stop until the mission is complete and everyone is dead, and they find their target. Who is Warren and why do they want him so badly?
This is one of the best horror/thrillers that I've read in the genre. It is scary, gory, tension filled, brutal, exciting and full of well written characters that you are rooting for. The bad guys really are plain evil and you don't want them to win, but they seem to know everything about everyone in town and use that to their advantage in murdering the civilians. There are scenes of torture and violence and it is adult content. It is also one of these fast paced rollercoaster rides where you really don't know what is coming next or who might make it out alive.
We follow quite a few characters through the book. The Sheriff knows who they are looking for but is determined not to tell. Fran is frantic to escape from the diner and get home to her son Duncan and his beloved beagle Woof. Duncan and Woof are alone and afraid when the assassin comes after them. Erwin is trying to get to his girlfriend Jessie Lee, who is one of many to arrive at the school after hearing that each person in town is to receive a cheque for a lottery win. Jessie Lee is sure one of the men she sees is a well known serial killer. Josh is determined to get Fran and her family safely out of town. There are others in the book as well and although it seems like a lot of people, you don't get confused as they are in pairs or groups at different parts of town and the author jumps back and forward between them, keeping everything fast paced.
The assassins are a team of Red Ops-Bernie, Santiago, Taylor and Ajax, mind modified by Dr Ralph, who heads to the town with his monkey Mathison and a Green Beret team who want to find the team. The entire town is quarantined so the innocent survivors are finding themselves trapped and trying to evade the killers. It's funny how small the town feels when our survivors are trying to evade highly trained psychos!
I was so concerned about poor Woof and the trouble that was following him and Duncan! I always get very anxious about a dog in any kind of book like this and I admit that this was one of the most nerve jangling examples of dog worry that I've ever been through. I love Woof and he features heavily in the plot. Beagles are my favourite dog breed which makes it worse! I also loved the intelligent monkey Mathison, who also features heavily in the plot. That gave me a second animal to worry about, as if I needed that!
The events in the book take place over a short period of time of a day or so which keeps things moving fast throughout. There really are no dull moments in this book. People are having to keep moving to stay alive as there seems to be no safe place in town and the hunters are also moving constantly so you never know which group are going to run into a psycho at some point! It was a book that I didn't want to put down for a minute and I'll be very keen to look at other books by this author.
*NB* I heard that some survivors of his first three books Afraid, Trapped and Endurance appear again in the fourth book Haunted House in a fear experiment...now I'm quite excited at seeing someone from this book again! Read 2015.