BOOK REVIEW: NEMESIS
Chilled to the bone. It's the sort of feeling you get sometimes, like when you're walking in the woods and stumble across a headstone, or a skeleton, or a burial pit, a place where bodies are dumped unceremoniously and left to decompose. Or, it could describe the feeling you get just looking at the cover picture of Vincent Cobb's creepily twisted and superbly written new novel, Nemesis. It's about a pedophile who tortures and murders young girls without remorse, and about police Sergeant Angela Crossley's attempts to track him down and capture him, using the help of Connie Rowden, a young girl who sees the murders taking place in her psychic visions, but is powerless to stop them. The cover depicts an eerie ghostly face without pupils, a face that seems to stare into your soul. It serves to provide a hint of what's within the covers, a story that will stay with you and haunt you long after you finish reading it.
A number of girls are disappearing seemingly without a trace. It's any parent's worst nightmare, that something horrible would happen to his/her children. Being the father of two children myself, a son and a daughter, I was drawn into the novel from the very beginning, and empathized with the pain the parents of the abducted girls must have felt. The sad truth is children of both sexes all too often get abducted, abused, and sometimes murdered, and it's often difficult in the extreme to bring their killers to justice, because it's hard to find enough evidence against them.
This is the problem that Detective Chief Inspector Simon Templar has at the start of Nemesis. He's making little headway in the case of the missing "nine-year-old Alice Newton," who "had disappeared between her mother's house and the news agents," and whom it was feared "had been abducted." Though Templar is skeptical when he's approached by Sylvia Rowden, who claims her daughter Connie is psychic and has seen the crime taking place and might be able to help the police, he doesn't want to dismiss her story outright.
Angela Crossley, who then is nineteen and a rookie, is the one Templar assigns to listen to Connie and see if there's any validity and value to her tale of having had a vision of Alice's murder. Little does Angela (Angie) know at the time that Connie's visions will affect lead the police to the murdered girl's final resting place, a pit in the woods, where she's found with the bodies of six other girls the sadistic pedophile has slaughtered in cold blood:
"She's buried in the forest, the one near the old quarry. There's a kind of glade,
with a disused workman's cottage. She's in a pit behind it. But it's very dark
there, and, like I said, it's scary. I think there might be other bodies there as well.
Alice wasn't the first one he's murdered."
Templar wants more than that from Angela and Connie. Though Connie is understandably reluctant to lead the police to where the bodies are, and at first refuses to, Templar has Angie put pressure on her and Sylvia. He even suggests that criminal proceedings might be brought against Sylvia for misleading the police and interfering in their investigation if Connie doesn't cooperate. If doing so would potentially emotionally and psychologically damage Connie, the police don't seem to care--that's the price that might need to be paid to bring a killer to justice.
That's just the beginning, a taste of the suspense and bone-chilling feelings you'll get while reading the page-turning Nemesis. Assisting in the case does greatly affect Connie, and she has a breakdown, and has to be institutionalized for several years, during which her mother - her only living parent that she knows of - dies. Then, when she's seventeen, her visions begin again, and Angela Crossley, who has visited her and been like a mother figure to her, enlists her aid once again. The murderer can tell he's being seen, also, and fearful and being captured, tries to hunt down whoever it is who's psychically "seeing" him and kill her. Get Nemesis today - it's a spooky suspenseful book you won't be able to put down.
REVIEWED BY DOUGLAS R. COBB
Thanks for visiting!