By John Katzenbach
It’s been 20 years on the grounds that Western nation clinic used to be closed down and the final of its inmates reintegrated into society. Francis Petrel was once slightly out of his young people whilst his relatives devoted him to the asylum, after his erratic habit culminated in a terrifying outburst. Now middle-aged, he leads an aimless, solitary lifestyles housed in an inexpensive condo, periodically tended to via his sisters, and ceaselessly 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 bothered brain: darkish thoughts he idea he had laid to leisure, in regards to the grisly occasions that resulted in Western country Hospital’s dying.
It starts in 1979, while twenty-one-year-old Petrel descends into the state-run purgatory of an overcrowded, understaffed Massachusetts psychological clinic. Surrounded via inmates roaming the halls like drugged zombies and raving in 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 enthusiastic about scuffling with imagined devils. yet there’s not anything imaginary concerning the younger nurse stumbled on 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 awesome and mysterious prosecuting legal professional who arrives to enquire has her personal chilling theory—about the awful, telltale “signature” left at the victim’s physique, a string of unsolved intercourse killings, and a truly actual satan who, unintentionally or layout, has come to show a madhouse right into a slaughterhouse.
Now, with the prior creeping again to hang-out his recommendations, and not anything yet a pencil and the naked partitions of his bleak condo, 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. till, like Francis’s long-buried memories, the killer resurfaces . . . with a vengeance.
A travel de strength narrative trip in the course of the eerily unpredictable brain of an completely strange hero, The Madman’s Tale will continue 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.