Sunday, January 15, 2012

QUICK REVIEW: "Liquid Fear" - by Scott Nicholson

by Scott Nicholson

REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz

When Roland Doyle wakes up with a dead woman in his motel room, the only clue is a mysterious vial of pills bearing the label "Take one every 4 hrs or else." 

Ten years before, six people were involved in a secret pharmaceutical trial that left one of them murdered and five unable to remember what happened. Now the experiment is continuing, as Dr. Sebastian Briggs wants to finish his research into fear response and post-traumatic stress disorder. He's backed by a major drug company and an ambitious U.S. Senator, but he also has a personal stake in the outcome. 

Only by taking the mysterious pills can the survivors stave off the creeping phobias and inflicted madness that threaten to consume them. But the pills have an unexpected side effect-the survivors start remembering the terrible acts they perpetrated a decade ago. They are lured back to the Monkey House, the remote facility where the original trials took place, and Briggs has prepared it for their return. 

Now they are trapped, they each have only one pill left, and cracks are forming in their civilized veneer. 

After the pills are gone, there's only one option. "Or else."


I simply couldn’t put this book down until I had devoured every sentence up to the very last chapter. Full of almost-unbearable suspense, the story had me riveted in my seat for hours.

From politicians vying to become president and striving for world domination; an over ambitious scientist and professional thugs, as well as the victims of the drug tests - the characters in this book are tremendously realistic and believable. The scientist is not your stereo-typical lunatic, but rather a cautious schemer with a healthy measure of paranoia, which of course adds to the hair-raising tension.

The author has that magic in his word use and descriptions of scenes, which make you feel right at home in the world he has created for his characters. This remarkable skill is even more effective as the point of view throughout the story shifts frequently - but the reader is never left behind. The fact that you never know which characters to “trust”, wonderfully enhances the suspense.

Until the conclusion in the last chapter of ‘Liquid Fear’, I had reservations about whether there are any “good’ characters in this story. So what really adds to the magnificence of it all, is the reader’s perception of right and wrong, moral and immoral; and thus the book will have a different impact on everyone who reads it.

“Liquid Fear” provided me with many hours of page-turning entertainment. The cleverly designed plotline in which the author gives nothing away, had me guessing and speculating right up to the last page. It is a book full of action and suspense that never lets up, but which makes it an absolute must read and well deserving of its 5 stars!


“Liquid Fear” by Scott Nicholson has 39 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here – 



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