Mortal Fear by Greg Iles

“Mortal Fear” is not for timid readers. Particularly, when it comes to those who are easily put off, by a galore of sexual content. This book is filled with so much of it, that if it was a bit more explicit, it could be found in your local adult store. The novel itself is splendid and a fantastic look at the human condition. But more than anything it deals with taboo. What kind? Well.. what kind can you think of? It hits every one of em’, any you can ponder on. From Death, to sex, to incest.. its all included. So for those who shy away from the dark side… this is not really the literary meal your looking for.

At its core, however “Mortal Fear” is your typical story of a killer being chased down by a non-typical hero, except its told in an untypical way.

Mortal Fear is…

The novel is the story of Harper Cole. His day job is the tame task of trades commodities. Which he does from a farm house in Mississippi Delta. At night, Harper has a more than unusual job. He labors as an systems operator for an online company called E.R.O.S., which is a scrutinized exclusive sexually explicit internet service. An online site whose clientele range from Hollywood types to highly acclaimed authors. Shielded by a promise of anonymity, these clients pour their most inner taboo secrets into the human vessels that confers on E.R.O.S. Only “sysops” like Harper can see and are aware of all actions taking place in E.R.O.S.

The story takes off, as 6 women clients enigmatically drop off the network, Harper suspects that something is awry. Then when a world-famous New Orleans author – and E.R.O.S. client becomes lifeless and headless in her mansion, Harper breaks the “sysops” code of silence and speaks to the police. They become shocked as Harper is, to find that all 6 women have been killed, each killed in different way, and in a different city. And each time the killer has claimed a rather strange trophy from each of the victims body.

In a twisted turn of events, the horrific happens and Harper finds himself to be the main suspect in the murders (he reported), Harper then is swept into a secret manhunt headed by the FBI. While the FBI utilizes technology of the future & reach for the past in its psychology to trap its killer, it becomes apparent to Harper that he alone stands a chance of capturing this madman killer.

This a deep thinking thriller

The thing that is pleasing about Mortal Fear is the deep thinking found in it. While its very true that its filled with sex and violence.. it is a serious commentary of it, rather than just a cheap graphic selling point. Its a novel that entertains but hits on real issues like infidelity and the “does the end, justify the means?” question. So in the end, you find yourself not only satisfied by its words that serve as a fast pace read.. but also something that you can think about after the book is finished. However, it does pry deep into things describing graphic pictures. Pictures, like the description of a frat house orgy and the perverted love of a man for his dead mother. (psycho anyone?) So as previously said, it might dig into things that many are not likely to search out.

But for those who don’t mind the explicit content, this is a crisp and entertaining read. It is captivating. Once you are familiar with the characters, you are strapped on, and are unable to unseat from this ride. The more and more you read, the faster and faster you yearn to know its ending. A terrific thriller.

I also enjoyed that while it has a sinful hero, it does not glorify him. He is filled with wrong, but its not justified, in order for you to find him appealing. You don’t particularly like the main character Harper, but you do come to understand and relate to him as a human with personal dilemmas (and all of us have dilemmas). But in the end, the point is how you deal with those dilemmas, and that’s what this book excels at. It shows the deep difficulty in dealing with personal dilemmas. All while still entertaining and giving us a tense and tasty ending.

Not only does it speak heavily on topics related to sex, but it also dives into other things. Things like computer technology and medical subjects. The great thing about its author Greg Iles is that when he writes about these things, he is informative and realistic. We find his deep knowledge of these things to enhance the storytelling. His attention to detail, make the whole process a splendid read.

In the end, you will be disappointed if you don’t enjoy a deep description of violence and sex. Others, who don’t mind this, will find the story to be captivating and a thrilling read. Analyzing the sexuality in relationships and telling a killer… murder story it will have you unable to put it down.

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