By John Katzenbach
It’s been 20 years given that Western kingdom health facility was once closed down and the final of its inmates reintegrated into society. Francis Petrel used to be slightly out of his youngsters whilst his relations dedicated him to the asylum, after his erratic habit culminated in a terrifying outburst. Now middle-aged, he leads an aimless, solitary existence housed in an inexpensive condominium, periodically tended to through his sisters, and endlessly medicated to quiet the refrain of voices in his head. yet a reunion at the grounds of the shuttered establishment stirs whatever deep in Francis’s afflicted brain: darkish thoughts he proposal he had laid to relaxation, in regards to the grisly occasions that resulted in Western kingdom Hospital’s death.
It starts in 1979, while twenty-one-year-old Petrel descends into the state-run purgatory of an overcrowded, understaffed Massachusetts psychological sanatorium. Surrounded by way of inmates roaming the halls like drugged zombies and raving at the back of locked doorways, well-meaning orderlies, jaded nurses, and patronizing medical professionals, Francis reveals friendship with a motley collection of fellow sufferers: a would-be Napoleon, a sensible ex-firefighter, and a guy keen about fighting imagined devils. yet there’s not anything imaginary concerning the younger nurse came across sexually assaulted and brutally murdered past due one evening after lights-out.
The police suspect an inmate, whereas sufferers whisper approximately visions of a white-shrouded “angel.” however the extraordinary and mysterious prosecuting legal professional who arrives to enquire has her personal chilling theory—about the bleak, telltale “signature” left at the victim’s physique, a string of unsolved intercourse killings, and a truly actual satan who, by accident or layout, has come to show a madhouse right into a slaughterhouse.
Now, with the earlier creeping again to hang-out his innovations, and not anything yet a pencil and the naked partitions of his bleak house, Francis surrenders to the overpowering have to inform the tale of these nightmarish days. yet as the crime was once by no means solved, it’s a narrative doomed to stay unfinished. until eventually, like Francis’s long-buried reminiscences, the killer resurfaces . . . with a vengeance.
A travel de strength narrative trip throughout the eerily unpredictable brain of an totally strange hero, The Madman’s Tale will retain even the main astute mystery reader doubtful, unnerved, and not able to withstand the tantalizing twists and turns of this fiendishly suspenseful shadow show.
From the Hardcover edition.