“The Furies” (Thomas Dunne Books), by Mark Alpert
Mark Alpert, known for his science-driven thrillers, takes readers on an unexpected journey into dark fantasy with “The Furies.”
Imagine a world that co-exists with our own but remains hidden to outsiders. Those who inhabit this realm appear as Amish to people living nearby, but they are beings with a rare genetic disorder. Hundreds of years ago, their abilities terrified others and they were deemed witches. Rather than face persecution, they hid themselves away.
In present day, John Rogers is drowning his sorrows at a bar after an unsuccessful day at a job fair when a beautiful woman walks in with two men. He strikes up a conversation and after a period of time, watches her companions leave. Since it’s late, he decides to make sure she gets home safely. They end up in a hotel room together. When they are about to become romantically involved, gunfire erupts in the hallway. The door to their room flies open and shots are fired. They flee to the roof where they meet more bullets. Ariel is hurt. When John offers to take her to a hospital, Ariel tells him about her hidden life.
Alpert has a knack for taking complex theories and making them relatable. This time, the science, while intriguing, takes a back seat to the story. John and Ariel are characters that readers will care about, and fans of Jim Butcher and other dark fantasy authors will enjoy “The Furies.”