Author: Bradley Ernst
Publication Date: April 1, 2016
I was given a copy by the author for an honest review. This does not affect my opionion in any way.
Bonn Maddox is ambivalent toward the massive ill-gotten fortune he inherited, but he does prize a water-stained document that hangs in his father’s study. It’s generations-old … a black market treasure. Inspiration turns to obsession. The butcher considers his calling a societal reckoning: a deep moral debt owed for his family’s predatory greed.
The maimed vigilante enlists a pair of eccentric Germans to grow his operation. Discreet, reptile-like savants, they are financial gurus but have their own secrets. When Henna Maxwell, a toxicologist with a rare passion for venom, seeks refuge, Bonn may have risked his freedom.
The death count soars. New York City’s top homicide team has profiled an inhumanly strong and opportunistic loner who’s always a step ahead. Has the hunter graduated to Brownsville? The detectives—an ex-boxer and his pregnant partner—have unknowingly assumed terrible risks. They couldn’t guess how personal the killer’s hunt has become. Now, more than just thugs are in trouble … those who consider themselves untouchable are next.
What a wonderful surprise this book was! I simply could not put this one down.
There are two main protagonists in Inhumanum, one female, one male. Henna is a child prodigy who ends up in the care of her grandfather after her parents died. She grows to become especially interested in poison and soon it becomes her passion and her job. She sometimes goes to remote locations to hunt down exotic sources of poison that she can add to her collection for research. On one of these trips, something happens which would change her forever and bring her to the attention of Bonn.
Bonn is the only child of a wealthy lawyer and his wife. His mom has no maternal instincts whatsoever and so Bonn is left to the care of various nannies. He is strangely disconnected and has trouble experiencing or understanding emotions in the way that most people do. He too is a genius and his teachers are afraid of him and his mother so much so that she lashes out in a way that impacts him physically and mentally.
There are so many layers to uncover in Inhumanum. The author very carefully builds his story and characters . He takes us into the minds and the lives of these two seemingly unconnected characters, shows us what circumstances helped to shape and mold them into the persons they are now, their motivations and the catalysts for their present and future actions.
There is a very steady and captivation flow to the story as a whole which enables it to move along a steady pace while keeping the reader totally engaged. The characters are complex and even though their actions might not be acceptable or the norm, it seems justifiable given their metamorphoses and the reasons for it.
I loved how Henna and Bonn are brought together by pure co-incidence and how their friendship started based on trust and total honesty and progressed on mutual understanding. I loved their thought processes and the glimpses into their psyches.
Overall, Inhumunam is an intricately constructed, layered and immersive novel with a look into the makings and the mind of a killer who is convinced of his moral right to right the wrongs of the world.
The first was a medal I received in high school. I was a finalist in a national essay competition I hadn’t entered. My English teacher sent my essay in—when she pressed the dime-sized award into my palm I was dumbfounded. I threw it into a small wooden box with a bar along the bottom to lock it, on top of a stack of small-denomination (but colorful) foreign paper money my uncle had sent when in the military overseas, iron-on patches—one proving I’d attended “hunter’s safety.” Another for pedaling my dirt bike thirty miles for multiple sclerosis while wearing a straw cowboy hat and a denim jacket—a wineskin full of gatorade strapped across my chest, snake-bite kit deep in my jeans pocket. (It didn’t say all of that on the patch of course—but I knew—and now you do.)
The medal clanked around for years in that box, useless and hidden, against a silver dollar my dad had given me. A tiny totem of denial that what I really wanted to do … was WRITE.
The second award? An apron with mushroom designs: an award for “best fungi haiku” written as an egg timer clicked on a table in a wine-soaked festival crowd. I don’t wear the two together … the medal and the apron: I don’t like to show off.
I’ve been a nurse for 20 years, and bits of humor have allowed me, (and my patients) to better cope with pain, death, and terror. “You should write a book!” I heard, dozens of times.
Here it is:
I hope you enjoy my first thriller: “Inhumanum” (Latin for brutal.) The sequel, “Made Men” will be available on Amazon in Fall of 2016.
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