- Title: CRYPT: Mask of Death
- Author: Andrew Hammond
- Publisher: Headline
- ISBN: 9780755378234
A figure wearing a white mask swoops down a deserted hospital corridor towards a quarantined patient. Covered in black sores and writhing in agony the patient can’t be saved by modern medicine. But then, the masked figure is not a modern doctor…
Bodies are being discovered all over London, all marked with the same black sores – it seems a contagious disease is spreading across the city. But when witnesses all report seeing the same mysterious masked figure it seems there’s something more sinister going on.
This is a case for CRYPT: a team of elite teenage agents who use their extra sensory perception and arsenal of high-tech gadgets to investigate crimes that the police can’t solve.
Bex and Jud are once again thrown into the middle of a gruesome mystery to solve, one that this time takes them across Europe and into the narrow pathways and canals of Venice.
Bodies are beginning to pile up, all over London, all covered in black sores, and those that are found alive writhe in agony before the disease claims them… And just who are the figures with the strange, long, white masks that seem to go where the bodies are…
Mask of Death is another satisfying and gory tale from Andrew Hammond, Bex and Jud continue to be interesting and likable leads, who are clearly getting closer to each other as partners and friends. I suspect that Jud’s secret past, will come into play at some point soon, as I’m sure he’ll feel uncomfortable not telling her everything at some point.
I’m always surprised the pages of the CRYPT books and not literally splattered in blood and gore as there is certainly always plenty of it in the text! A bit like watching a good scary Doctor Who episode from behind the sofa or peaking between your fingers, you do find your self holding the book a certain way, and reading out of the corner of your eyes at times, which is exactly the way is should be!
Bex and Jud make an excellent team, perhaps the best that CRYPT has, but while they are fighting for their lives and trying to avoid arrest, there are some stirrings of jealousy back at base that they are constantly paired together and get the ‘plum’ jobs, which is sure to be explored further in the next few books, I’m sure.
Despite all the things I do enjoy about the CRYPT series, it still seems destined to be one that I always really enjoy but never quite love, and I can’t always quite put my finger on as to why that is.
The last book’s ending didn’t quite reach the tension and ‘size’ of the first book, which was a bit of a disappointment. Thankfully, there is a tension-filled, and satisfying, big set piece ending to this one, as the various plot strands, come together in the darkest depths of Venice Jud and Bex could find!
It will, however, always be one I am happy to recommend, especially for those that enjoy a bit of blood and guts with their horror!
My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.