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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Lost: The Field Researchers Book 2 by A.E. Hellstorm is one of the best books in its genre I have read for some time. Carl is a field researcher and child interviewer for the FBI, but when his partner Mira goes missing, presumed dead in a bombing, all kinds of horrible flashbacks begin to haunt him, her loss just another link in a chain of devastation. Carl has seen more than his fair share of horror and tragedy, but nothing which could compare to what he is about to face. Days are lost searching for Mira, with his hope fading, but just as he fears he can take no more, fate intervenes and offers a distraction. A young child has been found and his services are enlisted by Allie, a confident, sweet and outgoing woman investigating a serial killer. He loses himself in the investigation, still holding onto the hope Miri is alive, but his search leads him to places beyond his imagination and he soon finds himself pulled into a strange dimension. A horrific place bathed in everlasting night where every aspect of the realm seems somehow warped and geared towards destroying the fragile psyche of all those who cross into its domain; once it has its claws in someone, it will never let go.
Whether you like crime, thrillers, or horror, Lost: The Field Researchers Book 2 is for you. It expertly combines several genres in an involved, intricate plot. There is so much to this book that any aspect could make a brilliant stand-alone novel, but the combination creates a tense, emotionally driven tale. A.E. Hellstorm creates an imaginative world where the reader’s own imagination, in a very Lovecraftian style, conjures the true horror. It is a rare balance between not enough information and too much, and A.E. Hellstorm has expertly achieved this. Eerily terrifying, and hauntingly horrific, a fully immersive read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are real, diverse, and well-developed. You can’t help but be pulled into their plight; their joy is yours, and their terror equally shared. The character development is clear. From when we first meet Carl, Miri, and Allie, there is progressive growth based on their experiences. Relationships change and alter, not only between them but other characters. As a reader of H.P. Lovecraft, I couldn’t resist this book and it not only met but surpassed my every expectation. Immensely gripping, riveting, truly a must-read.