Review of "Intoxication," one of two short stories in a collection by Tim Kizer

For the fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz...

Should you use torture to extract a confession from a coworker trying to poison you? Do you kill those who dismiss your fears and believe you are paranoid? What do you do if you start questioning your own suspicions--and sanity--as you take the law into your hands?

In this disturbing tale of derangement, a young psychopathic woman is slipping into madness as she fights an enemy that may exist only in her imagination. She has to resort to desperate measures when she realizes that a gun, security cameras in her apartment, and constant vigilance will not be enough to survive. It is hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if the cat is not there, but Leslie, with her resolve fueled by paranoia, is hell-bent on finding and slaughtering it.

Bonus: "Hitchhiker" by Tim Kizer, the first entry in the As the Darkness Falls series.
When a serial killer hitches a ride one sunny day in a beautiful California valley, he does not suspect that he may have met his match, who is dead set to take another life. The battle of wits begins and only the most devious mind will survive.

Blame Hollywood if you like, but this story seemed to follow a plot similar to any psychological thriller movie produced in the past ten years.  In this light, I found Intoxication to be entertaining but a hair on the predictable side.

Given the psychological/thriller genre the author was trying to corner, more of the characters introduced could really have used some fleshing out.  Leslie herself is very real to the reader but the other characters are not.  In the end, this kind of diminished the intensity of her complete breakdown since I didn't know enough about any of the other characters to empathize with them.

But this is not to say that the story is poorly written.  It's quite well-written, in point of fact.  The author does an admirable job introducing to us a twisted individual in a very real way.  Our protagonist could literally be any "normal" office co-worker, which adds a nice creep factor.  In many ways, this aspect of the story outshines the minor twists and turns introduced.

All in all, this was not at all a bad read.  It will definitely keep you engaged.  If you enjoy those sliding down the slippery slop of insanity type tales, I would recommend this story.

3.5/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez


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