Day: September 3, 2018

Book Review: The Weight of Shadows by Karl Holton

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To start with, isn’t the title fantastic? The cover also caught my eye, but once I read the description, I found myself more than intrigued. To end with, yep, it lived up to its hype. Kudos to the author for delivering a well-rounded, complex, and clever web of characters and multiple plots. It’s hard to categorize this in only one genre. There’s suspense and thrills… a bit of horror, fundamental crime detection, family drama, mystery, and international spy-like intrigue.

Holton’s created a strong plot that keeps readers wondering in the first third how it will all intersect. With around 20 characters sharing the spotlight, we grow quite curious who knows who, which one will die, who is being honest, and how it will surprise us. I like how it alternates across various parts of the world, but it also all takes place in less than a week — barely 5 days.

Starting with the first chapter when a serial killer scares the heck out of us… we really don’t know what she did to the detective until much later, and even then, I’m still guessing — just like that ending! Wow… a cliffhanger to keep us coming back for more. And that’s a good thing since there’s a second book in the series within the next year.

Between 4 and 4.5 stars! Big thanks to Holton for merging a lot of different styles and approaches in his debut work. It gives you a different sort of appeal not dissimilar to major international thrillers by famous authors we’ve seen and read before. I’m curious to take on the next one soon.

shadowns

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Maledicus by Charles F. French

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History has tons of lecherous and caustic villains. Author Charles F. French re-introduced me to one in the debut novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, in his series ‘The Investigative Paranormal Society.’ Long ago under Roman Emperor Caligula served a man named Maledicus. Is he real or made-up? I’m not sure, but’s he scary and wicked, and I don’t ever want to meet him. Maledicus has tortured hundreds perhaps thousands, but when Caligula fears the man he once thought of as an ally, Maledicus is tricked into being killed. But he’s so horrific, the Underworld refuses to let him truly die and instead, he haunts people for thousands of years. Through an idol of sorts, his spirit is invoked and wrecks havoc on anyone nearby. Fast forward to current day and a young girl being tortured in her dreams… it wasn’t enough her entire family died under mysterious circumstances, now what’s she gonna do?

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French’s novel is a page-turner. He doesn’t just tell us the story of Maledicus. We learn the stories of several people impacted by him in the 19th and 20th centuries. We also get to know the three investigators who’ve formed a paranormal club near the end of their regular careers. We become invested in their characters, their pasts, and their suffering. We root for them to overcome what’s holding them back… and then we just want them to survive the ‘re-incarnated’ Maledicus. What a thriller! It’s a roller coaster of crazy drama across multiple historical periods. I’m certain at times we’re not really supposed to know the order in which things happened, too. But that’s okay… the plot and details are just great.

French has told a new type of scary story where sometimes we think things will turn out okay, then we’re slapped cold and quick. He’s highly imaginative and comes up with some great tortures (without being too graphically detailed). Characters are diverse and clear. Timelines are murky but that’s okay… it helps build the drama of ‘wait… what’s really going on here?’ so we can find some of the final surprises. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what really happens in the last few chapters.

It’s the first in the series… I’m looking forward to more. Kudos to the author for writing us a chilling drama worthy of a few nail-biting moments.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: A Mersey Killing by Brian L. Porter

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Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to download the fourth book in the Mersey Murder Mysteries by Brian L. Porter. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and so, I’ve decided to go back to the beginning of the series and read them in order, starting with A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died. Porter has kicked off a fantastic collection of novels involving the various detectives and police beginning with Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake. If you’re a fan of British crime fiction and methodical investigation, you’re sure to love these books.

In this series debut, a body is found in the Mersey River. It’s often difficult to obtain clues when the water can wash away evidence, but what about if the body has been there for over 35 years? Izzie and Ross have their work cut out for them, but as readers, we’re privileged to know a little bit more. Porter’s weaved alternating time periods in this story by showing us what happened in the past to a group of Liverpool musicians in the 1960s. As we get to know about 6 to 8 talents, we wonder… which one falls prey to a killer? As the story unfolds, we learn who it is, but there’s also someone else missing, too. Did they escape to America to form a band? Are they hiding out from someone dangerous? Izzie and Ross solve the case but not before tearing apart a family who’s been devastated one too many times in the past.

Porter’s a definite talent. While his books are mysteries with a touch of suspense, love and thrills, they often wisely focus on the relationships between characters as the catalyst to drive the story. Whether it’s getting to know the current day investigators, the past musicians, or who they’ve all become today, the plot and writing forces readers to care about what’s happening to everyone. We see them going thru their days on all levels — sometimes focused on the investigation, sometimes dealing with a personal issue. As the stories all begin to intersect, we begin to develop our own instincts as to who’s guilty of murder and who’s guilty of leading us astray.

Porter’s style is very strong, clear and direct. His main investigator team works with different departments to determine the murder weapon, to check passports from 35 years ago, and to learn how to interpret clues that no longer make sense. We see the leads meet with their colleagues and form their own opinions, but hold back a bit of reserve knowing they haven’t unearthed everything they still need to know. And when it all comes to a crashing finale, we worry whether the punishment fits the crime. That’s the sign of a good storyteller — to make us think critically.

Kudos to Porter for proving why building the right characters and setting can lead to a very promising and worthy book series. I’m looking forward to picking up the next one this fall… and getting invested in a series with 5 books already in the author’s pocket. I’m sure there will be more just as sure as I am that I’ll love them all!

 

mersey

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.