Night Cage - Andrew Harper

(Trey Campbell, #3)

The inmates of the Darden State Hospital for Criminal Justice are among the most dangerous psychopathic killers in the country. Now, while fires burn out of control in Southern California, authorities face the overwhelming task of relocating hundreds of these patients before the raging inferno descends. But in the frenzy, two of the murderers remain behind, unaccounted for. . . . “Bloody Mary” Chilmark and her son, Doc, discover the entrance to the underground passageways beneath Darden State in a desperate bid to escape. Instead they find the Night Cage—a special room where brutal experiments were once carried out. It’s up to Trey Campbell and Officer Jane Laymon to hunt for the killers in the dark underworld maze.

Andrew Harper is the pseudonym for horror enthusiast Douglas Clegg. Harper’s novels may be labeled as more of a ‘thriller’ by Leisure books, and, while I have not yet red his other novel ‘Red Angel’ and unable to comment on it, Night Cage was, to me, held an utterly terrifying premise. The plot has to do with insane killers, the branch of psychiatry, what could go wrong with the human mind (particularly when the body is subjected to abuse), and old asylums ­ come on, what could be creepier??

The atmosphere of Night Cage was psychologically rich. All scenes within the hospital walls, particularly the underground section, were eerie. The moments of slaughter were cruel, the insanity of some characters disturbingly convincing, even with internal dialogue being the only thing to rely on. Creepy and intense.

Trey as the main character was excellent. I enjoyed seeing his own issues and how they counter acted with his job. I dug his sense of morality as well..not only was he the ‘nice guy’, he also seemed so real it was almost spooky. “Doc” Chilmark and his mother, “Bloody Mary”, are eerie as hell for the antagonists. Psychos almost tragic in nature. Jim as the best friend of Trey was adorably likeable with a sense of humor I enjoy characters having. Adequate mystery surrounded Dr. Brainard and others when it was needed ­ even less likeable characters, such as Victor, grew on me after awhile.

The pace was as it should be to make Night Cage worth ­ tight and well planned.
Style : Harper’s style is crisp and short at points to heighten suspense and action; he uses a lot of pauses in other sentences to draw scenes out. His writing is an ideal companion to this type of story.

I was excited to read a novel from the talented source of Clegg’s mind. His talent under the Harper handle did not disappoint. Night Cage was a haunting, dramatic, suspenseful, and fulfilling. Whether labeled as suspense, horror, or whatever, it put a smile on this readers face and I’m willing to bet it would do the same for you.

NOTE: I snagged up a copy of Andrew Harper's Night Cage as a Leisure Horror Book Selection. If you don't know about this club already, you receive 2 books a month for the year. Your first two books upon joining are free, save the shipping costs. This month they sent a thriller novel in place of the Richard Laymon to make sure that only newly published material reaches mailboxes (due to complaints before on receiving paperbacks when people already had a hardcover version) You don't have to be a member to grab up a copy of the book, however - the link for leisure horror and Night Cage is here:

Also, Douglas Clegg offers a free newsletter to his readers, including segments of a free novel in the newsletter itself (along with a trivia question, various comments, etc.) The newsletter is mailed a few times a month to your email box - more information can be found here, at his official website:

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