Book Title: Incarnate
Author: Josh Stolberg
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Series: Pretty Please?
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Paranormal Suspense, Fiction
Pub Date: 07/25/17
An ambitious and sharp-witted clinical psychiatrist turns detective when one of her patients comes under investigation for a series of brutal murders—is she a psychopath or a victim herself?
Brilliant psychiatric resident Dr. Kim Patterson has one major flaw: she is too committed to her patients. Her willingness to break the rules and use unconventional methods to help her patients heal has already gotten her thrown out of several hospitals. And when Scarlett Hascall is brought into the psychiatric ward, Kim can’t resist getting involved, even if it means breaking protocol—because Kim can see what the other doctors cannot. Scarlett is suffering from a rare condition: Dissociative Identity Disorder, otherwise known as Multiple Personalities.
But even Kim is at a loss when she realizes that some of Scarlett’s alternate identities are claiming to be people who have gone missing from their town. And when Scarlett’s alter identity “Izzi” knows way too much about the whereabouts of the missing Isabel Wilcox, the police begin to suspect that Scarlett may have been involved with Isabel’s disappearance. Only Kim defends Scarlett, certain of the girl’s innocence. But her new theory is a radical one, one she can hardly believe herself: What if Kim is channeling the troubled souls of these victims?
With the help of local police officer Zack Trainor, Kim digs further into Isabel’s case, trying to find proof that Scarlett wasn’t involved. The more they discover, the more it becomes apparent that something strange and frightening is going on with Scarlett. Is it possible she is truly harboring lost souls? Or is Scarlett playing a twisted game with her doctors and the police?
Josh Stolberg’s Incarnate is a bone chilling, modern-day concoction of The X-Files meets M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. Seriously guys, this book is so original though, it really engaged me from the prologue until the very end. Incarnate takes place in a rural town in Alaska, where Dr. Kim Patterson resides over a stringent hospital. One day, a nineteen year old woman named Scarlett Hascall enters the psychiatric ward of the same hospital Kim works in, and Kim cannot help but get herself involved from the get-go. All evidence points Scarlett as a cold-blooded killer, but how come she can’t remember if she is innocent or not? Kim ends up deducting that Scarlett could possibly suffer from dissociative identity disorder, but are her alternate identities benevolent or is there something darker here? Everyone is stumped as they realize that Scarlett’s alternate identities also identically relate to people who are turning up missing in town. What is Scarlett up to and can they find out before anyone else gets hurt?
Incarnate is a read that was so unexpected for me, as I really didn’t know much about the author or the premise before getting my hands on it. Turns out, Josh Stolberg is a co-writer for the next Saw film, Jigsaw and it totally makes sense. No spoilers here, but there were moments where I had to just pause and take deep breaths because I was so engaged that I ended up feeling what the characters were going through. Ugh, my pinkies still feel weird any time I think about one of the chapters. <— is that a spoiler? Psshhh… Perfect Halloween read for October. I hope this ends up becoming a series.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy.