Scent of the Beast
by Ron Chinchen

"'Our people have had a few skirmishes with the vermin when we’ve arrested some of the terrorists. Beastly things, they are.'"

After a giant and mysterious fire registers on satellite photos, and entire villages stop responding to communications, the higher-ups of Police Superintendent Jake McLynn ask him to investigate the indigenous settlements of the Kimberley. Their request is made in secrecy and in an unofficial capacity, so he recruits three people he can count on to investigate this situation. When they approach the faraway villages, no sign of life either human or animal can be seen or heard for several kilometers. Jake’s team unearths a stash of bodies killed by asphyxiation, several grotesque remains, and inhuman scratch marks. Once the military becomes involved, Jake learns the government’s position is that it is the work of Papuan terrorist insurgents gaining a foothold in the territory, but the evidence doesn’t add up. As the body count starts to rise, Jake and his team learn of a much more horrifying cause for the carnage.

The size and scope of this book are massive but are put to fantastic use as the suspense and tension build from start to finish. What appears at first to be a criminal investigation soon becomes something more supernatural and weaves in elements of the political and mysterious by the book’s end. The cast is enormous with characters from all backgrounds and attitudes, but the ever-present danger will have readers thinking twice before becoming attached. Between an Aboriginal myth come to life, military and government cover-ups, and a secret cabal yearning to dominate the world, any fan of suspenseful genre fiction will find something to fixate on and question. It is no small feat to weave so many elements into a story and have the stakes raised so evenly and appropriately, but this gripping tale will keep readers happily devouring chapter after chapter.

Return to USR Home