Karl Thibault was an elite operative in Vietnam, who along with his two closest friends, Easton and Ky, was trusted to successfully carry out missions deep in enemy territory. However, when his mission was hijacked by a West Point captain who doesn’t know what he’s doing, things went horribly wrong. Years later, suffering from PTSD, he’s institutionalized after murdering his unfaithful wife’s lover, but manages to escape and now is tracking down, torturing, and murdering every man she’s slept with since. Can FBI agent Thomas Waters and Police Sergeant Chris Carpenter track him down before it’s too late?
Thibault is a believably dangerous psychopath, and the fact that we get to see a substantial portion of the story through his eyes makes his twisted point of view all that much more visible and compelling. The plot has plenty of action, with enough narrow escapes and dangerous situations to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The psychological horror more than equals the physical horror, and it’s entirely possible to skip all the graphic descriptions and overt violence and still find that all the spine-chilling terror of the book remains intact.
Author Kip Cassino builds the book’s suspense gradually, as Karl falls deeper and deeper into murderous cruelty and casual violence while still retaining the abilities of a brilliant military strategist. He coldly and rationally plans out thoroughly irrational, insane attacks, a combination that goes a long way to accentuate the sheer nightmarish horror of his actions for the reader. Those with low tolerance for gore and violence should be warned that the author does not hold back from some seriously gruesome situations, which heighten the suspense and sense of danger but may be too upsetting for some readers. Cassino doesn’t hesitate to moralize, either, both on the abysmal conduct of the war in Vietnam that betrayed our soldiers, and on the ethics of using other people. Almost every character in the THE NARROW MAN is either ready and willing to use others for their own purposes, or are themselves the victims of one of the users–and some, having been conditioned by a life empty of real love or security, find themselves on both sides. THE NARROW MAN is a highly cynical book–there are very few innocents, and the moral judgment comes down rather harshly, even upon those who have relatively few options for self-preservation and a history of emotional neglect.
THE NARROW MAN is an exciting tale that will delight readers looking for suspense, action, and maybe a few (well-written, skillfully-plotted) nightmares.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader