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The Unnatural [Hardcover]

Alan Nayes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2003
The first victim, brutally assaulted, literally dies of fright in the ER, and Dr. Julie Charmaine must find out why. A psychiatrist, advocate for battered women and noted sleep researcher, Dr. Charmaine has only two clues to the beautiful young woman's death: she reeks of the city sewers and her last word was the Spanish slang for monkey.

Meanwhile, Vicki Zambisi, 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 betrayed, she is put under the care of Dr. Charmaine, and her dreams reveal that there's more to the man the LA police have dubbed the "Sewer Stalker" than Vicki is letting on while awake.

Eager investors have rewarded Dr. Wesley Kovacs lavishly for his groundbreaking cryonics research. Now, though he publicly supports a form of immortality, Kovacs will let nothing stand between him and the Nobel Prize.

For in an experiment gone horribly awry, Kovacs holds the key to the "Sewer Stalker," the bizarre hybrid creature who lusts insatiably for beautiful women . . . and now pursues both Julie and her patient.

Navigating the turbulent waters of immortality and bringing man's unquenchable desire to live forever to the streets and sewers of Los Angeles, Alan Nayes lives up to the reputation he established in the critically acclaimed Gargoyles by providing another edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep readers up all night.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

From the moment doomed Irene Inez is dragged kicking and screaming from her car on a rainy Los Angeles night, this latest thriller from the author of Gargoyles (2001) will have you frantically guessing what horrors will await the next victim. When police bring a bloody and incoherent Inez to the California University Medical Center's ER, Dr. Julie Charmaine--a psychiatrist who specializes in battered women--is called in for a consultation. After her patient literally dies of fright the next morning, Dr. Charmaine teams up with LAPD detective Matt Guardian in a search for the vicious attacker. The bodies start piling up, and evidence points to someone or something lurking in the sewers beneath the city. The investigation leads them to the creepy Dr. Kovacs and his Phoenix Life Extension Foundation, which may hold the key to a horrific secret that has been kept hidden for 20 years. Should enthrall fans of the science-gone-awry genre made popular by Robin Cook and Michael Crichton, as well as readers of horror and monster lit. Michael Gannon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting slasher medical thriller Oct. 1 2003
By Harriet Klausner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In Los Angeles, the woman barely survived the assault that apparently relates to sewage based on the gook on her when she suddenly screams in horror and dies in the emergency room. As a counselor for battered women, psychiatrist Dr. Julie Charmaine wants to know what was so terrorizing that the woman relived it in her dreams and dropped dead on the replay. While Julie wonders what happened, Vicki Zambisi, who has had several operations to repair her deformed skull, breaks into a boarded-up hotel to retrieve a memento that might disclose the secret illegal experiments conducted by the highly regarded mad cryogenic research scientist Dr. Wesley Kovacs. She is fortunate to elude the sewage slasher.
Vicki meets Julie who has a device that creates visual images of what people are dreaming about that she would like to use on her. Vicki has doubts, but soon other women undergo the horrible assaults in the old abandoned hotel. Could Dr. Kovacs be the killer or is it something sinister beyond what the two women and a LAPD detective can imagine?
This is an exciting slasher medical thriller that is fun to read sort of like a Roger Corman movie. The story line combines the serial killer with a science fiction cautionary tale about the boundaries of medicine. Julie is a delightful, brilliant and energetic heroine while much of the rest of the cast either are victims or enable the audience to understand the protagonist better. Alan Nayes provides readers with an enjoyable tale that hooks the reader from the first page and keeps their interest until all the questions are answered.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting slasher medical thriller Oct. 1 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In Los Angeles, the woman barely survived the assault that apparently relates to sewage based on the gook on her when she suddenly screams in horror and dies in the emergency room. As a counselor for battered women, psychiatrist Dr. Julie Charmaine wants to know what was so terrorizing that the woman relived it in her dreams and dropped dead on the replay. While Julie wonders what happened, Vicki Zambisi, who has had several operations to repair her deformed skull, breaks into a boarded-up hotel to retrieve a memento that might disclose the secret illegal experiments conducted by the highly regarded mad cryogenic research scientist Dr. Wesley Kovacs. She is fortunate to elude the sewage slasher.
Vicki meets Julie who has a device that creates visual images of what people are dreaming about that she would like to use on her. Vicki has doubts, but soon other women undergo the horrible assaults in the old abandoned hotel. Could Dr. Kovacs be the killer or is it something sinister beyond what the two women and a LAPD detective can imagine?
This is an exciting slasher medical thriller that is fun to read sort of like a Roger Corman movie. The story line combines the serial killer with a science fiction cautionary tale about the boundaries of medicine. Julie is a delightful, brilliant and energetic heroine while much of the rest of the cast either are victims or enable the audience to understand the protagonist better. Alan Nayes provides readers with an enjoyable tale that hooks the reader from the first page and keeps their interest until all the questions are answered.
Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real thriller Aug. 18 2009
By Brenda Pink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nayes has a knack of writing books involving weird human experiments. I guess that stands to reason since he is an MD. Don't know if I'd want him to be my doc, but I certainly enjoy his books. The Unnatural has a similar feel to Relic by Preston and Child. A "monster" emerging from the sewers, ripping people apart, a weird smell, and so on. The identity of the killer is not really kept hidden through the book, so there is no surprise there. Even the nature of the killer is not really hidden, so the "spoiler" on one of the other reviews isn't even that much of a shock. But be forewarned, there are some - yes - stomach turning twists in store for the reader that makes it to the end. Of the two books of Nayes that I have read, Gargoyles and the Unnatural, I think I enjoyed this one the best. The plot is complicated. The science in it is almost far reaching enough to be ridiculous, yet has enough fact in it to be plausible. I can almost see this book becoming a series featuring further adventures of Julie, the main character.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Nov. 21 2011
By Kathy Sund prescher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A page turner. I myself am in the medical field and loved every minute of this thriller. It has been years since I read it so I only remember the feel of it and how anxious I was at the time for Nayes to write more of the same. At that time he had only two books out. This book is far underrated. Thumbs Up!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for someone who loves Medical Mystery's! Oct. 2 2011
By Stacy Eaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If I could give half stars, this one would be a 3.5. I'm rating up because I did enjoy the plot line.

Mr. Nayes did a great job with his writing style on this book. The knowledge that he showed in his writing was excellent, but for me it was personally over my head. I found myself skipping through a lot of the technical and medical references.

I did enjoy the storyline - and thought it was very creative. The characters were good - and there was enough depth to give some good insight on them and make them appealing.

Someone who is very much into medical mystery's, enjoys and understands the medical references made in this book would probably find this a 5 star book.

I do enjoy Mr. Nayes stories and will continue to read them as they are released.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Revolting! Aug. 12 2008
By book reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I came across this book at the library. I thought it was a type of medical, sci-fi book. It was not! Spoilers........

Women are being attacked and the police thinks it's someone that's living in the sewer. More like something living in the sewer. Vicki, one of the main characters, works with a crazy doctor that likes to experiment. She helps him with one of his experiments. Ben. She becomes Bens friend, She helps him read and after time they fall in love. Aww[...] They start having sex on a regular basis, while Dr. What-ever-his-name films it. After a short time something happens to Ben and Vicki leaves. She comes back 20 years later to get Ben's body, I guess to bury it, I don't know. If I didn't mention it, When Vicki Returns after 20 years that's when the attacks start. Of course you find out that Ben has been committing the crimes. They eventualy kill him. I read this book feeling sorry for Ben and Vicki.
At least until you realise Ben is a monkey. You read right, a MONKEY, or more accurately an orangutan. I can't even begin to descrbe how revolted I was. The author even described the first time they were intimate. Nice huh. What the author should have done was give the readers a heads-up and let I us Know he was righting a book about beastility, that way anyone who doesn't want to read, or even bring it into their homes can leave it on the shelf!
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