Pale Highway - Nicholas Conley

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Gabriel Schist won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. Now he’s in his 70s and losing the battle with Alzheimer’s. Living out his days in the Bright New Day nursing home, Gabriel is just trying to hang onto as much as his memory as possible. When a horrific and terrifying new disease begins to affect residents and the government is keeping it completely hush hush, Gabriel wonders if his deteriorating mind can come up with the cure before it fails him completely. He doesn’t think so, but a resident named Victor and some prodding by some hinky beings that are probably, maybe, figments of his swiss cheese mind get him working on the problem. The results are mind boggling!


Gabriel’s tale is a terrifying one for someone like me, fast approaching 50 and familiar with relatives in nursing homes. However, while at times depressing as hell, there are plenty of times when it is quite heartening. Gabriel is an interesting character and in addition to seeing his life in the nursing home, there are flashbacks to when he was younger. They are very well-done and dovetail what is happening in his present. As the tension of the strange disease ratchets up, I had a hard time putting this book down. But…you knew there was a but, right? It got quite weird. Not exactly bad weird, just weird. I was left sitting there scratching my head and going wtf just happened? I mean, I pretty much know what happened, I think, but still… You’ll understand what I mean when you read it. LOL Even with the weirdness I recommend it. It’s quite the ride.