The first victim, brutally assaulted, literally dies of fright in the emergency room, and Dr. Julie Charmaine must find out why. A psychiatrist, advocate for battered women, and a noted sleep researcher, Dr. Charmaine has only two clues to the beautiful young woman’s death: she reeks of the city’s sewers and her last word was the Spanish slang for monkey.
Vicki Zampisi, tormented by twin memories of terror and lost love, begins an odyssey of vengeance. But when she is attacked in the run-down hotel where she was once betrayed, she is put under the care of Dr. Julie Charmaine, and the terrified woman’s dreams reveal there is more to this cold-blooded serial killer the L.A. press have dubbed the “Sewer Stalker” than Vicki is letting on.
Eager investors have rewarded Dr. Wesley Kovacs lavishly for his groundbreaking cryonics research and he will let nothing stand between him and the Nobel Prize—not even an experiment that has gone horribly awry.
THE UNNATURAL is a twisted tale of cryonics, sex, revenge, murder and the bizarre hybrid creature that leaves an entire city cowering in fear.
In pushing the borders of scientific possibility in this creepy medical thriller, his second after Gargoyles (2001), Nayes provides some genuinely chilling suspense. After treating a young woman who then dies seemingly of fright on the operating table, dream specialist Julie Charmaine hears from Vicki Zambisi, a young woman disturbed by dreams of a mysterious monster from her past, who hopes cryogenics expert Dr. Wesley Kovacs can help her. Soon a strange hybrid creature, the "Sewer Stalker," is no dream, but a serial killer roaming beneath Los Angeles and preying primarily on young women, some of them in Dr. Charmaine's own hospital. Before too long, Charmaine and Zambisi are forced by the increasing danger into an alliance with LAPD homicide detective Matt Guardian to take up Zambisi's pursuit of Dr. Kovacs and his experiments in prolonging life by freezing. The tale affords a rather old-fashioned view of women (however professional) as victim, along with some improbable informational dialogue, particularly on the part of Dr. Kovacs. This is a book that only dedicated horror fans will treasure, but a wide variety of readers will thoroughly enjoy reading once. (Oct. 6)