One Last Scream
Wydawnictwo: PINNACLE BOOKS
O'Brien has been around for a while. ACTORS, his first novel, was published in 1987, but since 2001 he has averaged a book a year, with such efforts as MAKE THEM CRY, WATCH THEM DIE and LEFT FOR DEAD. His books stand on their own, and the titles that hint at pain and sudden end to mortal life are not kidding around. As one would surmise from the title ONE LAST SCREAM, nothing goes gently into a night that is anything but good.
However, don't think that O'Brien focuses solely on gore to keep the action moving. As frightening as his work may be, he constructs a complex and confounding mystery to support his plots, one that will keep you puzzled, guessing and (for our purposes, most importantly) reading. And ONE LAST SCREAM has quite a puzzle. It begins with an abduction, quickly moves to a multiple murder, and then things really get busy.
The person at the core of all this activity is Amelia Faraday, an attractive young woman who has much to be thankful for but remains troubled by vague and disturbing emotional complaints. Her life is changed forever when her adopted parents and aunt are brutally and inexplicably murdered. At first it appears to be a case of murder-suicide, yet Amelia has vivid memories of committing the murders. To make matters worse, her phantom recollections closely coincide with what is found at the crime scene.
Karen Carlisle, Amelia's therapist, is quick to point out all the reasons why she could not have been responsible, yet as time passes and her behavior becomes more and more bizarre, it appears that Amelia is guilty of murder and more. In an attempt to prove her innocence, Carlisle and Amelia's uncle begin an investigation into her past, one that will resolve not only a series of increasingly frequent murders in the present but also a number of puzzling disappearances in the past - all of which seem to be tied directly to Amelia.
There is no other way to say it: ONE LAST SCREAM will creep you out. A number of passages led me to scream, "Oh my gosh! Oh shoot! No! Don't do it!" (or words to that effect), even as I jumped ever deeper into it. The book's strongest suit, however, is its baffling mystery, which the author manages to wrap up in the last 100 pages while never letting the action, suspense or violence lag for a moment. If you're not a fan of O'Brien already, ONE LAST SCREAM will make you a member of the club.