Review of Tunnelvision by R. Patrick Gates

February 27, 2017


 A classic serial killer tale in every sense. That is not to say it lacks originality, but it definitely beat along to the tune of many drum sessions preceding it.

The killer, a figure holding many similarities to Thomas Harris’ Tooth Fairy from the novel Red Dragon and yet splashing with a mental kind of Stay Tuned-esque –yeah, that 90s flick– is on a busy and reckless path of murders set to movies. He has a troubled past and for the first half, he’s a bit of a mystery. The flashing bits from TunnelVision really punch-up the somewhat slow, perhaps methodically so, first two-thirds.

Hunting this killer is cop, gifted and yet haunted, dealing with addiction’s slumbering whispers, as well as a young boy named Ivy.

Ivy is a lot of fun. He sets booby traps and befriends an old gal with a pension for reading and getting wasted. As far as kid’s go, R. Patrick Gates did a fine job keeping him within limits –although too smart for his lot in a broken society– and abilities.

The pace, as mentioned, is a bit of a slow burn, but the finale is lightning fast and full of freaky imagery. There’s more to like than dislike about this book, a thriller with no cheap plot pulls, no easing from the gas once it gets moving, and some nasty surprises.


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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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