Author: Ellie Douglas

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-10: 1544711514; ISBN-13: 978-1544711515

Kiwi-born and -bred book cover designer and author of mainly horror fiction, Ellie Douglas, revels in the dark side of life. If you have a phobia, beware! Her work Fear Inducer is enough to make you run for the hills. But, if you are an intrepid and adventurous soul, there is nothing that you might enjoy more than indulging yourself in hearing about other people’s phobias and how they meet their untimely end at the not-so-helpful hands of Dr. Felix Bloom. Taking his skill as a psychiatrist to the heights is most definitely not what this doyen (NOT) of the medical profession is all about. How his career becomes perverted from one where he was headed for the Nobel Prize to one in which he longs for nothing better than to quench his bloodthirsty yen for domination over others, by means of maximizing his patients’ deepest fears to the extent that they willingly take their own life is told in gruesome and lurid detail. Douglas even goes so far as depicting the victims falling prey to their own worst imaginings in black-and-white illustrations that precede each of the major cases covered in this volume. Asserting that she wished to be predictable when writing Fear Inducer, she says that she “purposely wanted readers for this book alone, to know ahead of time what was going to happen”, so that she could protect her readers from themselves. So, if you suffer from any of the phobias described, and still wish to read the work, you are able to avoid reading about one that might trigger your own anxieties and fears. According to Douglas, you should truly be grateful for how thoughtful an author she is.

The setting of Fear Inducer is Auckland, but, as Douglas notes, her setting always comes secondary to the development of her plot and characters. Her explanation of the origin of each phobia in the characters’ mind enables you to gain insight into the reason for the development of their fear. However, any empathy that you might be tempted to have for Dr. Bloom’s patients is soon swept away by the graphic revealing of the details of their unsympathetic treatment at the hands of this psychopathic monster. Dr. Bloom’s two relationships that transcend the doctor–patient dichotomy, namely those with his secretary, Joanna, and with Rick, a colleague whom he feels tempted at times to draw into his subversive world, make one aware that Douglas is capable of thinking beyond the sadomasochistic bounds of her central theme to the ambiguous power play of employer–employee and collegial associations.

All in all, Fear Inducer is a powerful work that should prove to be quite capable of setting your nerves on edge―only daylight reading recommended, though!