Harrison’s a writer for Strange Phenomena, a magazine that keeps their readers in the know on ghosts, werewolves, conspiracies, bigfoot, and all things fringe. Harrison’s military past didn’t exactly pave the way for a career as a journalist, but Strange Phenomena isn’t exactly your mainstream media outlet. To complicate matters, Harrison isn’t exactly what you would call technologically savvy. In fact, he actually shuns technology while trying to do his job with credibility and integrity.
All things aside, Harrison is facing turbulent times.
Then he’s sent on a minor assignment by his editor – follow up on some reader reports of, you guessed it strange phenomena. The assignment turns out to be a bust, or so Harrison initially thinks; however, as the dust starts to settle where there was nothing, Harrison sees the potential for a story. A big story.
Strange things are afoot in the English countryside. People have been seeing ghosts, shades, creatures – exactly what no one knows. Harrison runs down lead after lead. Ultimately he finds himself at a body farm run for research purposes to better help criminologist understand how to solve future unexplained deaths based upon how cadavers decompose under a variety of different conditions.
All of the cadavers come from various medical facilities across the land primarily as a result of the deceased’s donating their bodies to science.
Then things take a turn for the worse.
The large, all powerful Mendel Pharmaceuticals rears their mighty head. In a nutshell, Mendel has created the drug to end all drugs. They have Re-Gene, a treatment that conceptually could make a person live forever. They plan on making millions, nay, billons. All that stands in their way is the announcement of the drug, well, that and the fact that those who take it continue to live as their bodies die around them. The result is something that could only be described as markedly less appealing than a zombie. Imagine wanting to die and not being able to.
Slowly the conspiracy starts to unravel with Harrison who is aided by the talented, yet skeptical research scientist Dr. Sarah Wallace, at the vortex.
Knight takes you on a ride you won’t soon forget.
Generation is a face-paced book that keeps you guessing. All too often thrillers such as this follow a set formula that can be all too predictable. Knight did a great job in keeping me guessing in such a way that as situations resolved themselves I was compelled to turn the page in a hurry to see what happened next.
I was also quite drawn to the characters, all of who were developed quite well by Knight. I am universally disappointed when a character is larger than life with no flaws or weaknesses. It would have been easy for Knight, given Harrison’s military background, to have made him a super soldier who was able to summon the one man military might of the British Empire to bear on the situation; however, Harrison is just an average Joe who is caught up in a difficult situation. The most endearing quality he possess is that he realizes this and lets this redouble his efforts to make things right.
This realistic approach pervades all of the characters and the story as a whole all the way to a very satisfying ending.
I will say that in total I would classify Generations as more thriller or suspense rather than horror. I never had any spine tingles while reading it, but on more than one occasion I found myself on the edge of my seat, eager to see what happened next.
I also found it refreshing reading a book written by a non-US writer. The book was set in the UK and the dialogue, the slang, the colloquialisms, all with a definite British slant.
Overall, I was quite taken with this book. Generations would appeal to fans of suspense or the thriller genre. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. One word of caution; however, you’ll be ready to read William Knight’s next book as soon as you finish Generation.