Saturday, April 3, 2010

Maps of Hell-Paul Johnston

Maps of Hell
Paul Johnston
Mira, May 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778327783

When he regains consciousness, he finds himself naked and in pain. He cannot remember his name, where he is, or how he ended up without any clothing in a cell barely bigger than a closet. Although confused, he knows he is not a guest of whoever detained him so he must escape in order to regroup mentally and physically.

Fleeing his captivity, he begins to recall things taken for granted like he is British crime writer Matt Wells and was kidnapped by the NANR militia who brainwashed him in the Maine wilderness although he is unsure what they want him to do. Law enforcement on several levels seeks him out as a possible serial killer and for questioning in the disappearance of his pregnant lover, British DCI Karen Oaten. He eludes the militia, the FBI, and state and local police as he must learn what happened to his Karen and if still possible rescue her; to do this Matt needs to figure out what they did to him.

Told by Matt in a traumatic first hand account starting with his smelling his vomit in the cell, Maps of Hell is a superb action-packed thriller. Fast-paced throughout, readers will be spellbound as the hero struggles to survive, elude the enemy that includes cops, and seeks his beloved. Mindful of the Manchurian Candidate and the Prisoner only much more graphic as the “victim” tells the tale from his perspective, Paul Johnston affirms once again that he is one of today’s best thriller writers (see The Death List and The Soul Collector).

Harriet Klausner

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