Nightjack

Nightjack

3.5 2
by Tom Piccirilli
     
 

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On the day of his release from a mental institution Pace is taken "hostage" by Faust, Pia, and Hayden, three escapees from the hospital who disappeared after the presumed rape and beating of Cassandra Kaltzas, daughter of the Greek munitions tycoon Alexandra Kaltzas. Each suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder, experiencing complex delusions and sometimes

Overview

On the day of his release from a mental institution Pace is taken "hostage" by Faust, Pia, and Hayden, three escapees from the hospital who disappeared after the presumed rape and beating of Cassandra Kaltzas, daughter of the Greek munitions tycoon Alexandra Kaltzas. Each suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder, experiencing complex delusions and sometimes fantastical identities. Pace tries to piece together what happened when apparently one of their alternate personalities tried to kill Cassandra. Pace himself is an alternate of William Pacella, a man whose wife died in a restaurant fire set by a local mobster for insurance money. William Pacella "dies" so that Nightjack can be born-a new personality who may or may not be Jack the Ripper. For unknown reasons, Pace is able to see others' delusions-when alternates take over members of the group, Pace alone is able to interact with each persona. Included among them is Princess Eirrin, a ten thousand year old sorceress and heir to the Atlantean throne; Smoker, a half-breed gunman from 1880s Arizona; Thaddeus, friend and companion to St. Paul; and the ancient Greek architect Daedalus, who soared among the clouds with his home-made wax wings and watched his son perish in the sea. Now the four find themselves under attack from assassins sent by Kaltzas to punish the person who attacked his daughter. Conflicting stories abound about Cassandra-whether she was raped, if she was perhaps murdered, or if she and Pace somehow crossed paths even before the hospital. In fact, she may not even exist. As the attacks persist, the group is forced to face their own personal traumas and terrors, and go in search of Kaltzas in Greece. There, on an island where fantasy, myth, and truth are all entangled, Pace and his many alternates must sift through madness and deceit to unlock the mystery. And everyone may wind up dead unless Pace willingly unleashes the most brutal killer of all: Nightjack.

Editorial Reviews

James Rollins
Tom Piccirilli straddles genres with the boldness of the best writers today, blending suspense and crime fiction into tight, brutal masterpieces.
David Morrell
You're in for a treat. Tom Piccirilli is one of the most exciting authors around. He writes vivid action that is gripping and smart, with characters you believe and care about. I always pay attention when I see his name.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781937530273
Publisher:
Crossroad Press
Publication date:
03/09/2013
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.46(d)

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Nightjack 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another first-rate dark fantasy from Tom Piccirilli, his first in several years after leaving the horror field to pursue even greater success as a crime writer (SHADOW SEASON and THE COLD SPOT are two of my favorites). Even so, there's plenty of noir-ish and hardboiled elements to be found in this novel, which is only available as a digital download at the moment. NIGHTJACK harkens back to his earlier efforts such as A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN and NOVEMBER MOURNS--quirky, dark, fantastical, offbeat & brilliant stories heavy with atmosphere and literary sensibilities. NIGHTJACK offers a fusion of cross-genre plotlines, situations, and characters all knotted together to exemplify exactly why Piccirilli is one of the best writers going no matter what field he's working in. On the surface it's the tale of Pace, a former mental patient with multiple personality disorder who is released and immediately kidnapped by three escapees from the same hospital--Pia, Faust, and Hayden--who also suffer from MPD. Months ago something horrible happened on the ward, possibly the rape of a young woman, Cassandra Kaltzas, though no one seems to be able to completely remember. And one of their alternates is probably the perpetrator, which makes for something like 200 possible suspects. As Pia, Faust, and Hayden shift from alternate to alternate, Pace sees each new persona and interacts with them as if they were real. These personas include gods, cowboys, sorceresses, private eyes, and alien beings. As the story progresses, Pace's own history becomes clearer: once he was William Pacella, your average everyday guy whose wife was killed in a restaurant fire set by a local mobster looking for some fire insurance cash. As Pacella watched his wife burn to death, his psyche cracked and a new personality emerged: Nightjack. A powerful killer who may or may not be Jack the Ripper, Nightjack slaughtered his way through the mob for months until his revenge was complete. Now Pace and his friends must face assassins sent by Cassandra's wealthy shipping magnate father, Alexander Kaltzas. Eventually they are forced to visit Kaltzas' stronghold, a Greek island where myth, madness, horror, dream, theology, and fantasy all seem to merge. What really happened to Cassandra that night in the hospital? Was she raped and murdered? Was she insane? Did Pace know her before they both became patients? Did she exist at all? And are all the alternate personalities just products of crazy folks, or is it possible that they're actually channeling these people and beings through time and space? The novel is beautifully wonky. Bizarre and humorous and yet gripping and fascinating as Piccirilli weaves disparate elements together into one extremely well-told story of pain, love, and redemption. Despite the oddity there are scenes here that are so real and honest that you'll be heart-wrenched.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago