20th June 2013.
It's some time in the not-too-distant future, and Seth Patrick delivers a logical exposition of how human beings have evolved to the point where they can revive the recently dead for a short while, in order to give testimony regarding the way they died and the person who killed them. This has become increasingly important, in that such testimony is now permitted in murder trials round the globe. But the ability to wake the dead is a poisoned chalice, hard on the revived dead, and harder still on the reviver, of whom there are very few.
Jonah Miller, our protagonist, is one of the top revivers in the world, and a key member of the FRS – the Forensic Revival Service in the United States. As you read on, you can see the increasing signs of trouble looming in Jonah's psyche, especially when he begins to have longer and longer periods of 'possession' by the body he had revived, its memories, its terrors, its stresses attaching to himself in disturbing and incomprehensible fashion.
One death in particular is that of abducted Daniel Harker, a journalist who first highlighted the whole revival issue. Harker is found bound and gagged – and dead. It is determined that he died of thirst and starvation, after his kidnappers abandoned him to die. The deceased Harker is thirsting for answers, particularly as to why they left him to his painful death, and in the process of finding out, invades the mind of Jonah Miller. And then something ancient and evil, long-hidden and dangerous, makes its presence felt through the doorway provided by the revived dead …
That's a rough synopsis of the story. But it doesn't begin to elaborate the fascinating details of reviving. Seth Patrick has created an entire forensic discipline, all backed up with authentic (at least, to this non-scientist) and utterly believable detail. I was completely absorbed by the weird take on the world he has created between the covers of this book. Heartily recommended.
Reviewer: Susan Moody