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Deprivation is a gripping psychological thriller set on a small New England coastal island stricken by an epidemic of insomnia. After a mysterious, silent child is found abandoned on the beach clutching a handheld video game, residents and tourists alike find themselves utterly unable to sleep. Exhaustion impairs judgment, delusions become hysteria, and mob rule explodes into shocking violence. Told from three perspectives: Chief of Police Mays tries to keep order, teenaged tourist Cort and her friends compete in a dangerous social media contest for the most hours awake, while local physician and former Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Sam Carlson battles his guilt over a student’s suicide and the blurriness of his own insomnia, to try to treat the sleepless—until he and the child must flee the violent mob that blames the child for the epidemic.
Recent Press & Endorsements for DEPRIVATION
- Publishers Weekly – “A chilling thriller … horror fans looking for unconventional scares will be grateful.” – Full Review
- Kirkus Reviews – “In this cinematic thriller, crippling insomnia infects the tourists and residents of a small town following the appearance of a mysteriously silent orphan … A well-paced action thriller with a wide-eyed premise that works hard to shake readers awake.”
- Linda Hepworth, NB Magazine (5 stars) – “Be prepared for sleepless nights, because once you start this multi-layered psychological thriller, you’ll find it impossible to put down . . . and when you’ve finished, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it!”
- David Angsten, author of The Night-Sea Trilogy – “Freirich delivers thrills and suspense in some of the sharpest writing of any American author working today. The language is so precise, the details and disparate collection of vacation islanders so acutely observed, that when the seemingly impossible happens—no one on the island can sleep—you never doubt for an instant that the living nightmare that follows is terrifyingly real. Insomniacs be warned: this page-turner guarantees a very late night.”
- Tom Epperson, author of Roberto to the Dark Tower Came and The Kind One – “A twisty psychological thriller that reminds us that the greatest monsters are to be found within.”
- Alice Clark-Platts, author of The Flower Girls – “A rattling read! Claustrophobic, unsettling, visceral.”
- Seb Doubinsky, award-winning author of The City-States Cycle series – “A beautifully crafted trap. At first, the reader imagines that it will be one of those classic horror-thriller books, as all the ingredients are there—a vacation island, likable but life-scarred characters, strange events leading to random violence and satisfying gore. And yes, you can absolutely read Deprivation as a great beach novel, along with the latest Stephen King, Peter Straub or Dean Koontz. But it conveys a much deeper and disturbing reflection on humanity, not far from Albert Camus’s The Plague, José Saramago’s Blindness or Josh Malerman’s Birdbox. Beyond the mystery lies the question on mass hysteria, modern technology and the slowly dissolving of empathy in our society. Extremely well written, with precise and convincing descriptions, realistic characters and deep-reaching plot, Deprivation is a must-read.”
- Kurt Baumeister, author of Pax Americana – “Set in a sleep-starved beach town, Deprivation is a stark psycho-thriller told in prose that’s at once elegant, lucid, and more than a little hypnotic. With deft pacing, hip atmospherics, and above all, his brilliant style, Roy Freirich evokes the sensory distortions that come in transit between wakefulness and dreams. Truly, Deprivation is a rare piece of work, a thriller that succeeds as both art and entertainment.”
- Keith Rosson, award-winning author of Smoke City and The Mercy of the Tide – “A smart literary thriller, Deprivation kept me guessing to the end.”
Previous Reviews for WINGED CREATURES
- Publishers Weekly – (Review of WINGED CREATURES) – “The survivors of a gun massacre struggle with the aftermath in Freirich’s stark, impressive debut. While emotionally charged, the narrative isn’t weighed down with sentiment as the characters search for, but don’t necessarily find, closure.”
- Booklist – (Review of WINGED CREATURES) – “This well-crafted debut packs a wallop.”