Publisher: Hear Our Voice
Date of publication: February 3rd, 2023
Trigger Warning: Violence (Graphic), Gore (Graphic), Homophobia (mentioned)
Series: Doyle & Braham
The Prisoner of Fear—Book 1 (review here)
A Paroxysm of Fear—Book 2
Purchase Links: Kindle | B&N | AbeBooks
Fear and mystery follow me like an unwanted shadow. As the case of my missing friend, Dr. Charles Thorton, has horrifically concluded, a new mystery emerges! My miserable colleague, Thomas Braham and I discovered that Cordelia had been transformed into an abominable monster, and now we are now off on a discovery to find the root of her evil. We are whisked off on many twists and turns as our adventures lead us to lunatic asylums and underground surgical arenas. Our new apprentice, Scarlett, also joins our endeavors as I pray she only acts as our silent observer and resists sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.
And still, our anonymous prisoner remains. They sit there waiting to be rescued and survive the torment and torture that awaits them. I’m confident they will be discovered, but I worry that the empty cell will be quickly filled by another poor soul.
I say with the greatest of confidence that Thomas, Scarlett, and I will uncover the truth. My fear and anxiety still remain. Sometimes it’s better to let things lie peacefully in ignorance. What sordid and cruel vermin will slither to the surface once we start turning up stones and digging holes? But my curiosity and need for discovery tamps down any trepidation I may have, and besides, I owe it to Dr. Thorton. Pray for us.
To life and light,
June 4th – It was a silent night on the train, but I found myself unable to sleep, which was a predicament that my dear friend John didn’t suffer.A Paroxysm of Fear by Chad Miller
Thomas Braham and John Doyle, along with Thomas’s niece Scarlett, have solved the case of Doyle’s missing friend, Dr. Charles Thornton. But the end of that case has opened up another question: How and why did Cordelia become a cannibalistic monster? Determined to find the answer, Braham and Doyle follow the clues. These clues lead them to illegal surgical rooms to lunatic asylums. Meanwhile, Scarlett is still in town, digging up clues there. It is Doyle and Baraham’s hope that she does so quietly and not draw attention to herself.
Meanwhile, our anonymous prisoner from the first book is slowly transforming into something horrendous. Will Braham and Doyle find any answers? Will Scarlett be able to keep under the radar? And what will happen to the prisoner?
A Paroxysm of Fear is the second book in the Braham and Doyle series. Readers cannot read this book as a standalone. You need to read book 1 to understand what is happening in book 2. You will be lost if you only read book 2.
Like the first book, A Paroxysm of Fear is written mainly through diary entries and letters. In 98% of books, this wouldn’t work, but in this case, it does. I felt slightly uneasy and nervous for the main characters when the diary entries and letters ended. It was because I didn’t know what would happen to the characters in the time between entries/letters. My imagination was going into overdrive. And people, that is what makes this such a good horror book.
The main plotline of A Paroxysm of Fear centers is Braham and Doyle’s investigation of what happened to Cordelia and where it occurred. They (and I) wanted to know what happened to her and why she turned into this horrendous thing. Their journey took them throughout Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. As for the people they met, I didn’t trust any of them, and I have them all lumped into my “It could be him” category. As for Scarlett, she did a great job digging up information about Cordelia’s victims. I do think she was onto something towards the end of the book.
The other main storyline was about the anonymous prisoner. It was genius that the author chose to blank out who the captors were. I also loved seeing this person go from right-minded to insane. Of course, I did figure out who it was. But I couldn’t figure out who the captor was. His (and it was a he) motives were clear; he was looking for an elixir for some cure. Then there was a plot twist I didn’t see coming. Another anonymous prisoner is taken, and I can’t figure out who it is!!! Two people went missing towards the end of the book, which could be either of them.
Horror is the primary genre in A Paroxysm of Fear, and the author nailed it. As mentioned above, I was often left uneasy and nervous during the book. Compounded with the fact that Braham and Doyle didn’t know what they were digging into, it kept me off balance. The other genre that the book fits into is mystery, and it was written perfectly. I cannot figure out anything in this book, and I love it!!!
There are trigger warnings in A Paroxysm of Fear. They are violence, gore, and homophobia. The violence and gore are graphic. Homophobia is mentioned, but there is no great detail about it.
The end of A Paroxysm of Fear was interesting. Nothing was wrapped up. Instead, a whole new sense of urgency is instilled. I can only say that people go missing, and another anonymous prisoner is in the cell. Add on that the book ended on a cliffhanger, and oh my!!!
I would recommend A Paroxsym of Fear to anyone over 21. There is violence, but there is no language or sexual situations.
Many thanks to Chad Miller for allowing me to read and review A Paroxsym of Fear. All opinions stated in this review are mine.