Book: Batman: Fear Itself (Batman book #3) by Michael Reaves and Steven-Elliot Altman
Rating: 5 stars
I have really been missing out on a good read by letting this sit on the shelf for so long. Batman: Fear Itself was a very well-written interesting mystery that follows Batman trying to unravel a plot that has fear toxin at the for front.
It all began with a subway train speeding out of control with Batman going in to stop it. After completing this task he found the engineer, a woman in a daze babbling incoherently about creatures in the tunnels. Before leaving the scene he met Maggie Tollyer, a young woman who claimed to be a journalist. While still in the subway tunnel, he watched from afar the police securing the scene. He also noticed Maggie taking a book from the engineer's bag which left him curious as to why she had removed it.
From his research, he found out that the book Fear Itself was a horror story written by the popular author Grey Brewald. He also found out that Maggie was telling the truth in sorts, she was a former newspaper journalist who was now running a news blog.
The condition of the engineer had all the clear cut signs of being gassed by the Scarecrow. However with Jonathan Crane a.k.a. the Scarecrow locked up in Arkham Asylum who could be behind this latest crime. And with more fear incidents popping up, Batman stumbled onto a connection with Grey Brewald's Fear Itself books as being the catalyst for the crime. Was it possible that the author had something to do with his own books containing the toxin or was someone simply targeting his books for their desired effect? Could Maggie be involved in some way or as a reporter did she stumble upon the ultimate story?
There was no shortage of action scenes in this but the focus is on the mystery and seeing it unfold. I like that the book did not focus only on Bruce Wayne/Batman's point of view but included several such as Grey Brewald, Maggie Tollyer etc.. My favorite was Alfred Pennyworth, whose signature sarcasm and wit were perfectly shown. This was an engaging story that had me as interested in the characters as the mystery itself.