Title: Red Hail
Author: Jamie Killen
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/4
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery Thriller
Narration: Limited Third Person
This book has an interesting theme with gripping narration. It kept my interest until the end. I was disappointed by the way it ended yet this book was a delightful read.
This book starts and toggles in two parts of past and present. Sixty years ago, in 1960 an unexplained happened in the small town of Galina. Town was ripped apart after the outbreak of a mysterious illness. Over a period, many researchers have been sure that its “Mass Hysteria”. Now in 2020, grand children or the next generation post that, of the affected townsfolks are displaying the same symptoms.
As book toggles between past and present mystery builds gradually. Timelines and story between the two era’s go in parallel, making the readers curious on what would happen next. Some brave people from both generations come forward to solve this strange situation. As they start to rule out the possibilities and unearth the truth, they are in for big revelation.
I loved some characters from both era and absolutely loathed few. I liked how book went back and forth between the events from 1960 and 2020. Totally loved how people looked at the same situation from different angle in different era. The way racists and religious fanatics reacted and handled the situation vs Researchers, Professors and Scholars looked at it, different, yet intriguing.
I was glued almost till the last page. I was hoping for more action and more detailed explanation after such a big buildup, somehow it was disappointing for me at the end. Even though author has tied things well, it didn’t give clarity on some issues. Apart from skewed ending this book has it all. Plot moved in steady pace with slight up’s and downs. Narration style is wonderful. Mystery element of the book is written so well. Emotions of infected people are described well.
Overall, this book kept me rooted and on the edge of the seat until very last minute. It’s an engaging thriller mystery which creates healthy anxiety woven along with the concepts of science fiction. If you into this type of plot, don’t miss it and let me know your thoughts.
Blurb as per good reads
Professor Colin Ayres has spent years researching the strange story of Galina, Arizona, a sleepy border town ripped apart by violence and paranoia after the outbreak of a mysterious illness in 1960. Colin is certain the Galina Incident was simply a case of mass hysteria. But when his partner, Alonzo, starts exhibiting strange symptoms, Colin is shocked to realize they are the same as those that emerged in Galina decades ago.
As Alonzo’s condition worsens, Colin scrambles to piece together what really happened during that terrible summer in the past. He uncovers a story of murder, corruption, and fanaticism. The deeper he digs, the more he becomes convinced that what happened in Galina wasn’t mass hysteria after all.
When others start to develop the same eerie symptoms, Colin must confront the possibility that someone—or something—is driving the plague. Guided by rumors of a person who found a way to stop the plague in the sixties, Colin races to find answers before the disease destroys Alonzo and everyone else it touches.