has an authentic X-Files
feel to it--the right mixture of scientific plausibility and mystical overtones to keep both Scully and Mulder interested and on the trail. Skin taken from an unknown body found at the site of a road accident is grafted over the burns suffered by a mild-mannered professor who then goes berserk, killing a nurse. Mulder and Scully try to trace the source of the skin graft and uncover links with a biotech company called Fibrol International, whose deceased CEO, Emile Paladin, was in charge of a MASH unit in a village in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Traveling to the remote village, Mulder is intrigued to learn about a local cult that worships a mythical monster, the Gin-Korng-Pew, or Skin Eater. Meanwhile, Scully follows more prosaic leads in search of Paladin's reclusive brother.
Mezrich's descriptions of medical procedures feel authentic, and he keeps the story moving along at a good pace, with several dangerous moments for both Mulder and Scully and a significant body count among the witnesses. The mixture of FBI investigation, horror, and the occult, with overtones of paranoia about the activities of the military, should appeal to X-Files fans, while others may enjoy it as an entertaining adventure. --Liz Sourbut, Amazon.co.uk
From Publishers Weekly
When a mild-mannered history professor goes on a bloody rampage after receiving a skin graft mistakenly harvested from the wrong cadaver, the violent episode draws FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully into another eerie X-Files investigation. Though the cadaver, a John Doe found at the scene of a multiple-car pileup, has mysteriously vanished from the morgue, traces of red powder from the accident site lead the agents to Fibrol, a biotech company founded by former MASH surgeon Emile Paladin, who specialized in treating napalm burn victims. Records indicate that Paladin died in a hiking accident in the mountains of Thailand 15 years ago, but word that Paladin's brother, Andrew, is still alive in Thailand sends Scully and Mulder across the Pacific to learn more. There they discover that Paladin was obsessed with creating the perfect synthetic skinAand that his research coincided with the apparent reappearance of a horrific monster of local legend, Gin-Korng-Pew: the Skin Eater. Their penetration into the heart of the mystery uncovers a fiendish secret that will surprise no one. Though the story has plenty of the X-Files' usual matter-of-fact gore, there's little here to cause genuine shivers. Mezrich (Reaper) tells the tale largely from Mulder's point-of-view, but he and other characters are little more than animated clich?sAevidence that one needs more than a series of bizarre events to make a convincing X-file.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.