I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting is a large shopping mall in the Midwest where a diverse group of characters witness a strange event that will shake them to the very core of their existence. It begins when a man commits suicide by jumping from one of the upper levels to the floor below, killing a fellow shopper in the process. This is followed by the sound of the fire alarm causing hordes of people to rush to exit the mall. Only a few, to their good (?) fortune, remain inside and they will become the survivors.
Hodges sets his characters up carefully and we get to know them bit by bit. They are not perfect people – they all have flaws and their survival will depend, partially, on their overcoming these personal issues.
The pace of the novel is relentless and the tension mounts, especially after we are introduced to Jeff, a psychopathic trucker.
Hodges’ little group of survivors are well-developed characters, complex, and realistic. His writing is crisp and the result, for me, was a real page-turner with a surprising ending. This was a satisfying horror novel and I highly recommend it to lovers of the genre.
I received a free copy of this novel as an active member of the Horror Writers Association.