Friday, April 08, 2011

Books: Nightjack by Tom Piccrilli

NightjackNightjack by Tom Piccirilli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tom Piccrilli creates another masterful blend of horror and crime fiction in this excellent novella that explores the themes of identity, loss and rage. When William Pacella's wife is killed in a restaurant fire set by the mob to collect insurance money, Pacella snaps and falls into Multiple Personality Disorder, with the leading character becoming the narrator Pace, and his other "selves" including a private investigator and Jack the Ripper himself. After Pace/Jack dispatch the mobsters involved in the fire, he voluntarily commits himself to a psychiatric facility where he undergoes radical treatment. Upon his mysterious release, he is joined by his lead psychiatrist and a group of former patients on a quest to to find out what happened to Cassandra, a mysterious woman present both at the fire and the institution, and in the process learn about their illnesses and quest for true identity. This was an extraordinary story, at times darkly funny, violent, and thoughtful. Piccrilli writes with great compassion about those suffering with mental illness and their trials are never treated lightly. This is a short novella (currently in ebook format) but it packs a powerful punch and is an excellent entry in Piccrilli's growing roster of impressive work. Nightjack -

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