Jake Cole returns to his childhood home of Montauk where his estranged father and great American painter Jacob Coleridge has fallen prey to the beginnings of Alzheimer's—evidenced by his father having set himself on fire, then crashing through a plate glass window.
Bestowed with the ability to reconstruct three-dimensional crime scenes in his head, Cole’s mind is full of dark and demented images from his job.
Cole not only has an eidetic memory, but must also compartmentalize the horrors that play on an endless loop in his head in an effort to protect what is left of his sanity.
Upon entering his father’s house, Jake is unprepared for what he finds. There’s the proliferation of scotch bottles, carpets nailed to the floor in a crazy pattern, and years of neglect and filth. But, it’s the multiple images of a horrifying man without a face painted all over his father's studio that provides further proof of a mind losing its grip on reality.
Already dealing with his father's escalating condition and the impending arrival of his wife and son, Jake learns that a category-five hurricane is slated for a direct hit on Montauk in less than three days. Then comes the cherry on top: a phone call from the local PD regarding a brutal double murder just a few minutes away—a woman and her child have been skinned alive.
With a homicidal maniac on the loose and a killer storm on the way, only time will tell which one will do more damage.
Giving a slight nod to current television shows Unforgettable meets The Metalist Pobi creates his own brand of bogeyman. An incredibly intense and focused leading man, Special Agent Jake Cole deals in endless death and destruction.
Pobi writes with solid consistency as he weaves a tale of unthinkable—yet quite plausible—horror in the form of a psychotic madman who’s always one step ahead committing unfathomable atrocities that all seem to stem from the mere presence of Jake Cole and his return home.
Though there are moments of repetitive dwelling and restatement—as well as the recurring use of the word “flotsam”, Pobi does an excellent job of keeping the story moving forward, ratcheting up the intensity at just the perfect pace. The characters are well-developed, each one making an important contribution to the story, no matter how brief their time in the spotlight.
Proving he has the chops to make it in a genre where a combination of mystery, intrigue and perfect timing create the elixir that keeps the reader turning the page.
Robert Pobi's debut is a fantastic addition to the thriller arena.
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 15, 2012)