By Nicholas Conley
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.
When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.
As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?
The Pale Highway may be science fiction but it is based in enough reality that it gave me chills! The characters are all so complex even ones that appear to be simple are anything but. The subject matter that is the base of the story is heart wrenching. I don’t think I have ever experienced a disease through reading but I feel like I have the most realistic view of Alzheimer’s I could possibly have aside from having a family member (or myself) with the disease.
The storytelling is done in a manner to slowly show the reader both the sad and joyous sides of life. To take this journey with Gabriel felt like living portions of his life. Gabriel Schist and all the residents of the Bright New Day facility left me with a profound desire to call my aging family members and remind them how much I love them and to sit and listen to as many stories of their youth as they care to tell.
This isn’t normally a genre I would pick up but I have read another story by this author and loved it. The style in which Nicholas Conley writes and composes his stories have left my emotions vulnerable and raw more than once.
Originally from California, Nicholas Conley has currently made his home in the colder temperatures of New Hampshire. He considers himself to be a uniquely alien creature with mysterious literary ambitions, a passion for fiction, and a whole slew of terrific stories he’d like to share with others.
When not busy writing, Nicholas is an obsessive reader, a truth seeker, a sarcastic idealist, a traveler, and — like many writers — a coffee addict.