THE KEEPER OF CHERNOBYL by Alessandro Manzetti
Semipalatinsk Polygon, 1965. The Soviets run the Chagan Test, their first experiment in underground nuclear detonation. It’s a cover. Deep beneath the earth, in a bunker, they are bio-engineering soldiers to adapt to the extreme conditions of a thermonuclear war. But their human subjects get out of control, and the project’s survivors are transferred to a new base hidden at the site of the proposed Chernobyl nuclear plant. Professor Petrov is one such survivor. Marked by the horrors he has witnessed, and obsessed with Boni, a dangerous Muse he has created in the lab, the scientist slides into an abyss of alcoholism and madness. Meanwhile, in the zone outside Chernobyl, strange sightings and horrific murders fuel a twenty-year manhunt, culminating in a surprising and dramatic showdown.
2019 Bram Stoker Award Finalist (Superior Achievement in Long Fiction)