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'A all-knowing eye - beautiful, pititless, irresistible - stared into Robert's soul. He fought to control his breathing, to transform his fear.' Thus begins Martin Langfield's 'The Malice Box' in mysterious fashion.
In brief summary, Langfield's supernatural adventure tells of a normal man, Robert Reckliss, who must embark on a quest to save the World in modern day New York. As you would expect in an adventure, he has a couple of mysterious helpers along the way, not least his old University pal, Adam, who remains an enigma throughout the book, his wife Katherine, and Adam's blind girlfriend, who seems to understand everything going on, even though she can't explain it or do anything about it.
The author manages to interweave fantasy with a modern twist of adventure, by creating a structured plot. Robert can only save the World by successfully completing 7 trials - Trial by Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Mind and Spirit. After each of these, he feels an inner transformation, almost like a step on the way to being 'complete' and able to take on the arcane force of evil threatening to destroy the World.
Langfield creates a digital aspect unlike any other in his novel, with communication, instruction and consequence all being relayed between parties via a special device called a Quad, which contains GPS Waypoints that lead Robert to his destinations.
Confused? So was I. It's the type of book where you just have to trust the author, lose yourself in the book, and forget all the questions that continuously circle around your head. Believe me, there will be plenty of those.
If one were to take a completely critical viewpoint, most of the occurrences in the book would be as questionable as those in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', but one must not do this. I found myself relaxing and going along with the book. Indeed, when I was interrupted after almost half a day of intensive reading, I was quite irked, such is the captivating script from Langfield's pen. He really does have a way of writing that makes the words melt into your eyes - reading is effortless.
I enjoyed this author's intriguing tale, and am fully prepared to take a deep breath and dive in to another of his books.
Langfield currently works for Reuters. 'The Malice Box' is currently his only novel. It can be bought from amazon.co.uk for £5.59 new for paperback, £8.57 hardback, both new.
This review by me was first published on a literary site and may appear on ciao.co.uk
Thanks for reading.
This thriller is set in New York. It is about a man who goes on a quest to discover the secrets behind a box that responds to psychic energy and is linked to the North American blackout of August 2003.