Review: Anatomy of Evil by Brian Pinkerton

anatomy-of-evilAbout Anatomy of Evil

They unleashed hell on earth.

What began as a dream vacation to a tropical island paradise turned into a nightmare journey through the darkest corners of the human soul. Kiritimati is an island with a deadly secret. After a group of friends encounter a fiery red storm at sea, they return home held captive by their most sinful desires. Creating a path of destruction, they act on their deepest impulses of violence, cruelty, lust and greed. Individually, they have become disciples of Satan. United, they will launch the ultimate showdown between good and evil.


About the Author

Brian Pinkerton is an American author of fiction in the suspense, thriller, mystery and horror genres. His novels include Abducted, Vengeance, Killer's Diary, Bender, Rough Cut and How I Started the Apocalypse. Select titles have also been released as audio books and in foreign languages.

Brian's short stories have appeared in anthologies including Chicago Blues, PULP! and Zombie Zoology. His screenplays have finished in the top 100 of Project Greenlight and top two percent of the Nicholl Fellowship of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Brian received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and Master's Degree from Northwestern University.


My Thoughts

[Note: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley for review.]

I almost quit reading Anatomy of Evil early-on after the first couple chapters failed to hold my interest. The reason for this is, mostly, that I'm a guy who just does not get the allure of fishing at all. I've only tried it once, but found myself bored to death and wishing for a good book to read instead. Reading about fishing is an even less attractive proposition, so I got a bit tired of these 40-something Good Samaritans and their dreams of catching a massive whopper during their big fishing expedition off the coast of Kiritimati Island. I decided to give author Brian Pinkerton up to the 25% mark to grab my interest, and if that didn't happen, I was jumping ship.

Let's just say I'm glad I stuck with it. Because it's around that 25% mark that the book finally clicks and our intrepid band of do-gooder vacationers pilot their boat into the mean seas, even after they're warned not to go there, of course, and become possessed by demons.

Although the cast doesn't feel entirely well-developed, we're given enough peeks into their personality that their transformation to the dark side is a wicked and entertaining romp, in an incredulous 'shake my damn head' kinda way. On the surface, most of it seems fairly pedestrian, but shaded with some truly atrocious behaviors. There's Carol's manipulation of her coworkers and upper-management in order to secure a promotion, a freshly corrupt police officer, a string of extramarital affairs by an ex-jock with a now-maxed out libido, and the once-religious Sam who has become a Satanic cult leader. For me, Sam's transformation was the most interesting, but he doesn't get quite enough page-time to truly shine. And while these possessed souls are content to be serious asshats for a good, long portion of the book, I couldn't help but wish that they had a bit more apocalyptic ambition for more than just the final third of the novel.

That last third, though? When the possessed's unaffected families finally begin putting the pieces together? Truly terrific reading, and lots of high-stakes fun. In hindsight, I really owe Pinkerton some well-deserved kudos for building the novel as he did. While there were moments of frustration at parts (and that fault lies entirely with me), the plot coalesces nicely and delivers a very satisfying conclusion. I tend to prefer my horror stories to have a bit more bloodshed and chaos, but Anatomy of Evil is still a winner with its depth of sheer human depravity, wrapped up in a nicely demonic MacGuffin. It's definitely worth a read, and Pinkerton's writing style keeps the pages turning.

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Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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