Sunday, March 4, 2012

QUICK REVIEW: "Chronic Fear" - by Scott Nicholson

by Scott Nicholson

REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz


The phone call isn’t the first threat Dr. Alexis Morgan has received. Not by a long shot. It is, however, the first time she escaped the taunting voice only to find her neurobiology lab at the University of North Carolina being raided. Alexis thought she and her husband, Mark, were finally moving beyond the horrors of the Monkey House, sight of the notorious, top-secret drug trials for a powerful personality-altering drug that stole so many innocent lives? But now Alexis's research into the drug's effects has caught the attention of a shadowy government agency anxious to use the drug for its own nefarious purposes. When people begin dying, Alexis knows it is only a matter of time before the men behind the conspiracy try to silence her. She and Mark flee into the mountains of North Carolina, seeking refuge with the other survivors from the Monkey House. There, as government agents close in, the survivors must also battle the demons within their own minds if they hope to keep the drugs out of enemy hands.


In this sequel to “Liquid Fear”, Scott Nicholson gives us another page-turning, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.  Eleven years after the initial drug tests and one year since the Monkey House had been razed to the ground, the five remaining subjects are still being threatened.  The threats however, are not only in the phone calls and emails these subjects receive, but also in their minds as the lingering side effects of the drugs are still lurking and subtly changing them.  But, are the drugs only inside the subjects or are they still secretly available?

This is the story of people tormented by things over which they have almost no control; of dedicated scientists who just would not let go; of a woman trying to save her husband from complete insanity; and an ambitious politician who wants to be the next president.  Bring into this a fanatic, subversive man with his eye on the vice presidency, the CIA, the FBI and the National Clandestine Service, and the situation becomes unbelievably volatile. 

Once again I found myself sweating with suspense as the story built up to the inevitably violent and highly unpredictable ending.  Most of the time I was asking myself who the good guys in this story were, as even those who seem to be victims also have their own nefarious hidden agendas.  The author gives the reader a good look into the thoughts of all the main characters - the malice in the minds of the ambitious; and the paranoia, rage and delusions in the confused minds of those with the drugs still working in them. 
As the point of view shifts with every new chapter, the suspense builds in leaps and bounds. 

I was extremely impressed with the way in which the author expertly brings together the numerous key characters for the climactic end of the story.  Although I would suggest that readers read the prequel, “Liquid Fear”, before this book, the author gives enough back story for “Chronic Fear” to be read as a stand-alone novel.

Five stars and three cheers for this excellent book by an outstanding author! 


“Chronic Fear” by Scott Nicholson has 6 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here –



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