When Michael Keeler, inmate at the Wormwood Scrubs prison, volunteers for a special assignment, he isn't sure what he'll be expected to do. All he's focusing on is the promise of getting a full pardon in return for his cooperation. But because he's heard plenty of rumors about the experiments taking place in the North Wing, he knows that earning his reward won't be easy. What Keeler faces, however, is beyond anything that even he expected: he's asked to literally travel into the mind of a psychopathic killer and locate the murderer's next victim.
This book is creepy. Really creepy. In a way that really reminded me of the work of horror novelist Clive Barker, Wood creates a nightmare world and brings it to life. The novella isn't long, but it is action-packed and fraught with tension. Keeler, an unlikely hero given his past, is a sympathetic one, and Jeter, the villain, is as loathsome as they come. And the world that lives inside Jeter's mind is one that will haunt me for a while.
The only sour note in this book comes from a secondary character named Matt Cady. Without my giving too much away, Cady, a mild-mannered government employee who refers to himself as a 'pen pusher', suddenly turns into a kind of superhero at the end of the book, racking up more kills than Vin Diesel on a good day. It was a bit of stretch for me to believe that the bookish Cady could crack heads with such skill.
But, in the end, The Scrubs is a solidly scary read. Provided you're ready to lose a little sleep.