Book Review: Mannheim Rex

Famous horror author Gavin Corlie was hopelessly floundering into alcoholism after the terrible auto accident that crushed and killed his beloved wife and soul mate. After a fit of anguish, Gavin realizes it is time for a change and moves from the bustle of New York City for the quiet of New Mannheim. Setting about restoring an old homestead on the bank of Lake Caldasac, Gavin chances to meet Finn Horn, a thirteen-year-old boy trying to live with crippling disability due to bone cancer. Out on the lake, Finn is able to become a normal boy with an affinity for fishing who realizes there is something really big in the water and what is more, it is eating people. Against all reason, Gavin believes Finn’s claim and as the two begin to build a deep friendship, decides to help the youth make the catch of a lifetime. In the process, Gavin’s damaged heart begins to heal thanks to an enormous Maine cat and Dr. Laurel, Finn’s primary doctor and the boy who chose to take on a monster.

From the first chapter, Pobi sets the hook and reels readers in with a nice assortment of characters that run the spectrum from broken and self-sacrificing to downright evil along with a monster swimming around. Local law enforcement and habitual drug abuser Sheriff Pope is a nice counterpoint to the generally upstanding citizens of New Mannheim. Watching the friendships grow between Gavin, Finn and Dr. Laurel is a treat. Because there is by necessity a great deal of fishing, the pace tends to drag off and on throughout the story and while that does help build the tension a little bit, the tale could have benefited from deleting several of those scenes. Otherwise, Pobi delivers a first rate creature feature with more soul then most.

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