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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Samuel Taylor is a psychologist and WWI veteran who has just lost his wife and child in childbirth. Still suffering from the loss, he accepts a job at Western Valley Hospital. He soon discovers a very sinister plan, a government plan to exterminate anyone the system deems “unfit,” a program that is led by Superintendent Joseph Dejarnette. Dejarnette wants to work closely with Taylor, but the latter already has misgivings about the asylum. Taylor’s deaf brother and immigrant girlfriend may be next in line for execution. While Samuel is ready to quit this job that allows him to unwittingly condemn others, he quickly discovers that leaving the job isn’t an option. But where can he run to when Dejarnette's influence stretches across the entire country? He will have to fight this heinous crime, but does he have the tools and the strength in him? What about those he loves?
Fear The Reaper by David Simms is a psychological thriller with strong historical references, a gripping story set in the years following WWI and featuring organized crime and a professional’s dilemma. David Simms explores a theme that has often been featured in literature and movies, but what makes this narrative stand out is the historical setting against which the narrative evolves and the unique angles of the story. We read often about asylums where people are treated inhumanely and where sane people lose their sanity, but hardly do we read about an organized system that is out to exterminate those with mental deficiencies. The prose is beautiful and I enjoyed the way the author explores the psychological conflict in the protagonist. Samuel is a character who evokes the deepest sense of humanity in the reader, and the pathos that allows for the human connection with characters is built around the development of this character. Fear The Reaper is beautifully imagined and executed with rare expertise.