Originally published at Fangoria.com on June 19, 2011
Garry Charles’ TRANQUIL DISTURBANCES (KHP Publishers) is a knockout combination of two terror-inducing short stories. In the first half of the narrative, a group of maniacal killers find themselves against an entire town of cannibals. In the second half, innocent people are slowly turning insane because of a flesh-eating virus. Full of dark imagination, these horror stories have vivid characters that leap right off the page.
In “Tranquility,” the tale kicks off with a robbery gone horribly wrong. After unintentionally shooting the bank manager in the head, Motorhead and his group of armed robbers are forced to flee. With the police chasing after them, Motorhead and his gang drop out of sight at the nearest town. Suspicious and distrustful, Motorhead is the first to sense that something doesn’t feel right, especially with the people of Tranquility.
Motorhead suddenly discovers that the people of Tranquility are worshippers of the demon Lilith. With his own team thinking about betraying him, Motorhead might have to fight an entire town by himself. Even if he survives through the night, the band of traitors won’t let him leave the town alive. Who should be more afraid in this situation: the psychopath or the demon worshippers?
In “Death Tide,” a hurricane has trapped the unsuspecting people of a small town. In a laboratory, a mad scientist is working obsessively on his Lazarus virus. After conducting sadistic trials on humans, his lab experiment manages to escape from the building. Free to spread the virus, no one from town is safe from the effects.
The infection starts with bloodshot eyes and, after the cycle is complete, your life ultimately ends with an organ meltdown. As the virus attacks the brain, good and decent people are incapable of controlling their actions. While the murder rate increases, even the animals are showing signs of contagion. In a rush of waves, rats are attacking the uninfected in their homes.
Cross, a hired solider, was first ordered to quarantine the small town, but eradication is the only solution if no one is meant to know what happened. Realizing that there might be possibility for a cure, Cross decides to go against orders and rescue the uninfected. In 48 hours, Cross has to save the people he was originally meant to kill.
Charles manages to grab the reader’s attention with every page. Switching from different points-of-view, the suspenseful pace keeps running at a breakneck speed. The author crafts a long list of well-developed and relatable characters, and because he maintains a variety of personalities and attitudes, the reader is able to distinguish each individual among the cast.
With visceral action and top-notch characters, TRANQUIL DISTURBANCES is a difficult book to put down. The fight for survival is at its most intense, leaving you all shaken up. Don’t miss out on all the excitement!