Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Red Fog

The Red Fog
by Nicole Tanner

(CreateSpace / 1-442-14111-5 / 978-1-442-14111-7 / June 2009 / 168 pages / $9.99 / Kindle $5.99)

Reviewed by Dianne Salerni for PODBRAM

It’s 2am and nearly zero degrees outside. The streets are deserted, and a young woman is behind the wheel of a car. While she waits at a stoplight, a man crosses the street in front of her, and she realizes with horror that it is the same man who raped her at knifepoint some months previously. He spots her and leers at her, tauntingly displaying his switchblade. What does she do?

What Deana Simmons does and the consequences of her action are the focal point of The Red Fog, a psychological thriller by professional journalist Nicole Tanner. The protagonist of this short, suspenseful novel is a wounded, haunted art student at a small town college in Ohio. Her inability to emotionally connect with others stems from her past as an emotionally and physically abused child, as well as from a traumatic sexual assault in her first year of college. Suppressed memories trickle to the surface through her art, and an act of rage and vengeance triggers a nightmarish descent into vigilante justice, self-destructive violence, and madness.

The Red Fog opens with a violent act and a memorable first chapter, then retreats into a slow, suspenseful, unfolding of events as Deana’s sanity begins to collapse under the weight of her guilt and her triumph. Although I did not find every event in this novel believable and the secrets of Deana’s past were sometimes predictable, I can also say that I couldn’t stop reading the book. I had to know what Deana would and would not do next! Readers should be aware that the book contains scenes of graphic sex and violence, sometimes mixed together, but considering the theme and plot of the book, they were skillfully done. There are only a handful of editing errors, primarily missing words, which shouldn’t interfere with the reader’s enjoyment of the book. The Red Fog is recommended for fans of horror and psychological thrillers.

See Also: Nicole Tanner's Website

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