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G. W. Thomas Presents


By Justin Gustainis
Brighid’s Fire Books
$19.95 Tradepaper

 In this post-X-Files world it is hard to write an interesting story about a guy who works for the government, a girl who is a doctor, and monsters. But Justin Gustainis has done it. Which isn’t to say that The Hades Project is an X-Files novel. Mike Pacilio is not Fox Mulder. He’s more. A former Special Ops and a veteran of Viet Nam with a dark event in his past, he works for a little known branch of the government that investigates fraudulent use of grant funds. This line of work brings him into contact with strangeness. That strangeness is a missing member of a massive slaughter within a research lab in Fairfax, Virginia. Ten men and women are brutally killed and sexually molested. One member of the Hades Project is still alive and cutting a red ruin across the eastern United States.

 Pacilio also encounters Dr. Muriel Rojas, an intense emergency medical professional. Is she Dana Scully? I think not, for Scully would have a hard time keeping up with Dr. Rojas. For that matter, so does Mike Pacilio. Muriel is ready for the challenge of believing Pacilio’s strange theory, that the killer is not only the missing researcher, but one possessed by a demon. She is equally ready to help him fight. With the assistance of Mike’s old professor ‘Dirty’ Eugene Grady, the duo prepare to meet the monster and find its diabolical reason for being on Earth. But the monster has help too, in the form of a holy-roller named Tom Pascoe, who suspects the evil one’s purpose, and even assists in its terrible crimes. This is not a book for the squeamish, nor the prudish. You may learn a little more than you want to know about the habits of demons.

 The Hades Project is one of the most fun reads I’ve come across in the ghostbreaker genre since the advent of X-Files. Gustainis has mastered the sharp style of the bestseller as well as all the traditional themes that ghostbreaker fans want. You get on the ride at Page 1 and hold on.  This is one of those books that keeps you reading when you know you have to work the next day. The Hades Project is a fat book at 433 pages but they fly by all too quickly. Ghostbreaker fans will avidly await its sequel.