The Prisoner of Hell Gate
A NovelBook - 2016
"Karalee Soper, a graduate student at Havermeyer University's school of public health, grew up hearing tales of her heroic great grandfather, George A. Soper, who tracked down and locked away Irish immigrant cook Mary Mallon--the infamous disease carrierwho came to be called Typhoid Mary. So when partying on a pleasure cruise with her closest friends, she finds herself in an area of the East River known as Hell Gate--in sight of the long-uninhabited island where Mary languished bitterly for decades--andcan't resist the temptation to sneak ashore for a secret visit. Soon five curious and precocious twentysomethings are wandering among the macabre ruins of abandoned Riverside Hospital. Budding experts on the history of communicable disease, these students think they've mastered everything there is to know about Typhoid Mary and North Brother Island. But they don't know who tends the garden by the crumbling greenhouse. They don't know about the ghosts of the General Slocum shipwreck. They don't know the intentions of the hermit woman who offers to cook them dinner. And, worst of all, they know nothing of the sinister history lurking in the DNA of Karalee Soper, who will soon learn to her horror that the real prisoner of Hell Gate is the person she least suspects"--
FOUR DECADES AFTER TYPHOID MARY WENT TO HER GRAVE, FIVE CURIOUS GRADUATE STUDENTS STRUGGLE TO ESCAPE ALIVE FROM THE ABANDONED ISLAND THAT ONCE IMPRISONED HER. CONTAGION DOESN’T DIE. IT JUST WAITS.
In the Hell Gate section of New York’s East River lie the sad islands where, for centuries, people locked away what they most feared: the contagious, the disfigured, the addicted, the criminally insane.
Here infection slowly consumed the stricken. Here a desperate ship captain ran his doomed steamship aground and watched flames devour 1,500 souls. Here George A. Soper imprisoned the infamous Typhoid Mary after she spread sickness and death in Manhattan’s most privileged quarters.
George’s great-granddaughter, Karalee, and her fellow graduate students in public health know that story. But as they poke in and out of the macabre hospital rooms of abandoned North Brother Island—bantering, taking pictures, recalling history—they are missing something: Hidden evil watches over them—and plots against them.
When death visits Hell Gate, it comes to stay.
As darkness falls, the students find themselves marooned—their casual trespass having unleashed a chain of horrific events beyond anyone’s imagination.
Disease lurks among the eerie ruins where Typhoid Mary once lived and breathed. Ravenous flies swarm puddles of blood. Rot and decay cling to human skin. And spiteful ghosts haunt the living and undead.
Soon five students of history will learn more than they ever wanted to know about New York’s foul underbelly: the meaning of spine-tingling cries down the corridor, of mysterious fires, of disfiguring murder, and of an avenging presence so sinister they’d rather risk their lives than face the terror of one more night.
A descendant of the judge who locked up Typhoid Mary, Karalee Soper and four of her friends visit the abandoned Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island where Typhoid Mary was kept, as they are menaced by strange inhabitants and ghostly figures.
Five students of history investigate the Hell's Gate section of New York's East River on the abandoned North Brother Island—where, for centuries, the contagious, the disfigured, the addicted and the criminally insane, were imprisoned— and are stranded in this place rife with evil that is plotting against them. A first novel. Original.