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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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Protector (2002)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Protector (2002) Patrick Whalen's newest novel, a horror/sci-fi hybrid, is one of his best. Two innocent women are killed during a gang strike on the Seattle police--and this sets off the story's whole chain of events. Ill-matched partners Nathan Banning and Linda Canada become involve in the investigation-- but Banning dies of a heart-attack soon after he goes back to his apartment. This is when SOMETHING steps forth and assumes the dead detective's body. You see, the two dead women weren't really women but aliens observing the Earth. And their Protector, a shape-shifting creature, must find their killers to avenge them. He knows that his own kind will come and kill him for failure in protecting them--so he has a limited amount of time to find out who is responsble for the slayings. And the best way to do this is to assume the form of the dead detective. Yet, when the alien tries to absorb some of Nathan's memories he also picks up his emotions--and this makes him act more human.
As the days pass his partner, Linda, sees the change in personality and starts liking her once-asshole partner. In fact, she starts to fall in love with him as he reveals things about himself. She has no idea he's an alien. Eventually they find out that the killings in the park were a diversion put on by a drug lord who wanted to break out an informant (his old accountant) from an FBI safehouse). The drug lord, named Quintano, wants to torture the man and make him pay for his betrayal.
There's plenty of action in this book. And some truly horrendous scenes, such as when a guy is covered in hair straightener and the lye is slowly dissolving away his flesh. The detectives are extremely likable characters and you'll find yourself rooting for them.
A very satisfying read. To find out how to order your copy check out the interview with Patrick Whalen here on Buried.com
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