Michael Rutger puts Nolan, his friends, and shooting crew Ken, Molly, Pierre, and his ex-wife, Kristy, in harm’s way as he gives us another instalment of The Anomaly Files. The second book in the series goes in a different direction than the first, but still uses an actual unsolved mystery as a launching point.
There are countless ancient walls built all over the world, and a number of them pop up in America. Check out the Berkeley Mystery Walls. No one knows who built them, there’s no recorded history of them, they are just there, predating most cultures that took up residence in the area.
What Rutger does is use that as a launching point for a story that explores the mythology of witches, in this case women who live on the edges of society and perhaps have mysterious powers that the common person doesn’t understand.
Nolan is in a remote town investigating the walls when he hears that his ex is in the same town investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young woman. From the off strange things seem to be afoot in the town, and the story definitely gets into the realm of perception creates reality.
It’s a different kind of tale from The Anomaly Files, but the returning characters make it a lot of fun, and definitely puts a fun spin on witches. And, of course, the idea that walls are designed to keep something apart, keep us on one side, and them on the other.
We will probably never learn the true history of these strange walls, but I like how Rutger incorporates them into his tale, and spins us a tale that verges on a ghost story, and serves as an explanation for those ghostly encounters we’ve all seem to have had at some point in our lives.
To be clear, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first novel, and the perspective shifts constantly, we are in the first person when Nolan narrates, and third person objective when the narrative follows any other character.
There are some nicely unnerving moments, most involving strange noises, or half-seen things, and again, I think it’s because most of us can relate to incidents like that and Rutger through Nolan gives an all new, rather spooky reason why these things happen.
There are mysteries and stories all around us, we just don’t seem to notice them as much as we should because we’re so used to reality being the way we’re told it is. What if it isn’t? What if there are other things out there, things we can’t see, things that share this world with us, that can stalk us, hurt us, possess us, and certain chosen people, and some ancient structures work to keep them at bay?
I can’t wait for Rutger to give us another instalment in The Anomaly Files!