Book Review | Red Hail by Jamie Killen

Professor Colin Ayres has spent years researching the strange story of Galina, Arizona, a sleepy border town ripped apart by violence and paranoia after the outbreak of a mysterious illness in 1960. Colin is certain the Galina Incident was simply a case of mass hysteria. But when his partner, Alonzo, starts exhibiting strange symptoms, Colin is shocked to realize they are the same as those that emerged in Galina decades ago.

As Alonzo’s condition worsens, Colin scrambles to piece together what really happened during that terrible summer in the past. He uncovers a story of murder, corruption, and fanaticism. The deeper he digs, the more he becomes convinced that what happened in Galina wasn’t mass hysteria after all.

When others start to develop the same eerie symptoms, Colin must confront the possibility that someone—or something—is driving the plague. Guided by rumors of a person who found a way to stop the plague in the sixties, Colin races to find answers before the disease destroys Alonzo and everyone else it touches.

Galina, Arizona, 1960.  A teenage girl witnesses a strange rain storm, red hail falls from the sky staining everything with a bloody hue.  The cause - A natural phenomenon?  Nobody knows, but when people from the town start to exhibit strange behaviour they all quickly realise that they might be dealing with something terrible.  Tensions in the town reach fever pitch as the Mexican population are wrongly blamed for the outbreak.  Nobody seems to be coming to help so the towns folk take it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner.

Sixty years later, Colin Ayers, a professor, has been looking in to the town of Galina and the fallout from the “outbreak” all those years ago.  He isn’t convinced that anything untoward happened but when his partner Alonzo starts to exhibit the same signs that where recorded all those years ago he realises that something doesn’t add up.  As Alonzo’s conditions worsens and others start to show up with the same symptoms, Colin decides that the only way to save him and the others is to go back to where it started.  What will he find in Galina and will anyone want to talk about the events from all those years ago?

Red Hail was an enjoyable read with a sci-fi element to it, the dual timelines which can usually be a put off for me worked extremely well as the story progressed.  The journey to the cause of the hail and the strange behaviour is an enjoyable one and the conclusion of the story was not one I could have guessed.

Thanks to Jamie Killen for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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