In Las Vegas, rookie EPA
investigator Evangeline Bixby searches for her uncle, who went missing while
seeking the source of a mysterious biological toxin. Retired cop Danforth
encounters a man outside the downtown casinos who seems to rot to death before his
eyes. Danforth’s former partner, Chuck Needles, recalls a series of unsolved
deaths involving an unknown toxic agent.
Underneath the bright surface
of Vegas, an evil darkness grows, savage, monstrous and ravenous. Bixby,
Danforth and Needles will risk it all to stem a poisonous tide of murder and
destruction hatching beneath Sin City.
Forsaken: A Booktrope Imprint
Gangster, Vinnie Sabrini, owns the Sirocco Resort and
Casino in Las Vegas, including the Land of The Giants Zoological Gardens. The
zoo contains a variety of animals, the largest and smallest of several species;
for instance, the Komodo Dragons and crocodiles are some of the largest in
captivity, while the pigmy elephants are some of the smallest. When seen
together, you get the impression of giants. That is a gimmick to attract
customers to the casino. Another gimmick is to insure a higher content of
oxygen in the gaming room to keep the customers awake and over-active, bringing
in higher stakes for the casino. But something is going on below the casino.
When workers disappear, this can be covered up, but when bodies are found in
the street or nearby the casino, and a biological agent is discovered as the
cause, it looks suspicious to the EPA. When Agent Higgins Bixby comes up
missing, his niece, Agent Evan Bixby, goes undercover to find out what he was
investigating when he disappeared. She crosses path with private detective
Danforth, and they follow leads leading to a government facility in the desert
where secret experiments are being conducted; they are trying to grow food in
radiated soil. What Bixby and Danforth discover sends them back to the casino
in a hurry.
There are lots of things happening in this tale, and
the author actually identifies the creatures causing the problems early on, but
the reader needs to have a background in biology and zoology to figure it out.
Clues point the reader in one direction, however, and that’s where I will leave
it. The climax is big and would be perfect for the big screen. The author knows
how to move the characters through exciting scenes of terror-filled action and
horror. The writing is smooth and exceptional, and he weaves a tale of horror
and suspense, as searchers trek through the caves and tunnels beneath the
casino. It is not a novel for the weak of heart, for the monsters hiding in the
dark will eat you. The scientific information has been well researched also,
making the story believable. For there is proof of these giant creatures in
fossil evidence, and we know why they grew to such gigantic size during the
Carboniferous Period of our past. The only problem in the author’s rationale is
the time limit: The Carboniferous Period had millions of years to produce these
results, and in the case of this story, we only have about 20 years. Still,
this well written work of fiction will keep the reader on the edge of their
seat, and in the end, you will believe the science of the story was possible.