This was one of the most interesting and captivating collections I have read in a very long time. I chose this from the Blackthorn Book Tour folks and once again, our tastes in literature come together in perfect unison.
This anthology is a mysterious kind of collection all in itself. There are stories of all types of dark and sinister themes. While the entire collection would not really be considered horror, a great number of these tales bring the darker and less palatable horrors of actual reality out in the open. I would personally classify this collection as more of a dramatic thriller anthology than horror.
What we read for entertainment is an entirely personal choice. I happen to enjoy reading work that stimulates my brain. Just like any other muscle, the brain needs to be exercised to stay strong and healthy. Use it or lose it, as they always say. This group of stories is by far one of the most thought-provoking anthologies I have ever come across. Typically we apply personal experience and knowledge to what we read, watch, hear, etc. The most unique characteristic of this author’s writing is that it often takes on a point of view that is not what the average reader might have originally thought of or might have never experienced for themselves. This is a clever and intriguing way of really getting into the heart and mind of the reader. If the story is being told from a point of view we are not used to seeing or hearing it gives the reader an opportunity to open their minds and expand their capacity for empathy and understanding. We often only see things from our own side and it’s beneficial and valuable that we get the chance to learn about a different view.
The actual content of each story was great and the plots were thrilling. My only issue was that there are quite a few places where a small word is missing (such as ‘a’, ‘whole’, ‘the’, etc.) or the wrong word is typed, like ‘hours’ instead of ‘ours’. It seems quite possible from the minor grammatical errors that this book was dictated in a voice-to-text program and not typed up by hand. Which is completely fine. The finished product could benefit though from a final spellcheck and grammar check, and maybe even a final physical read-through.
The one thing that did make certain parts a little harder to read was that a great portion of the writing uses a run-on sentence structure. The sentences are four or five lines long and as little as three sentences can take up over a third of a page while creating a paragraph. Now, this isn’t necessarily negative as it comes across as it would if someone were verbally telling you the story. That’s kind of cool. It gives it a more personal feel. On the flip side, the long sentences have a lot of information in them. This is a lot to absorb in one sentence and I often had to go back and read the whole sentence a second time to get everything the author was trying to convey. Again, if this were a person telling this story verbally, none of that would matter. You would have the tone of voice and various pauses and inflections to convey that material. But, when reading, it might be easier to break the long sentences up and utilize more commas and semicolons to get the right effect.
Still, there are a few stories in this collection that weeks after reading are still in my mind. So this writing absolutely has an impact on the reader. This will be a collection I remember for quite some time.
About the Author
Miles Watson has won more awards and accolades than almost any independent writer of his generation. His various works have won the following:
The Cabin Sessions
Author: Isobel Blackthorn
Here we have a definite must-read for those that love psychological and suspense thrillers from Blackthorn Book Tours. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a horror novel it certainly is a wonderful cerebral tug of war. With the steady and consistent build-up of tension and suspense, the author leads the reader through the lives and happenings of a select group of people gathered on a stormy night at a local cabin where they play music and gossip about each other.
This tantalizing page-turner has an easy-to-follow format due to the author’s clever insight. Each chapter is named after a character. When you read each chapter, you are instantly aware of whose “world” we are in and can easily find where we are in each character's story. This story also has plenty of twists and turns to captivate the reader and keep them guessing what will happen next.
Additionally, this particular author has an extensive vocabulary coupled with poetic wit and tempered patience. This means there are no “dead” spots or filler text. The story keeps moving, characters keep building and in doing so, they become more realistic and relatable with every event in the plot, no matter how minute or significant each experience or event may be. All of these skills are melded together to create a fantastic story to curl up with next to a fire and completely submerge yourself in the twisted minds of normal individuals.
There is nothing outwardly special about each character. No obvious hero types or high-moral preachers. No clear-cut villains or physical wars are being waged. Instead, we get to know these people almost as we would in real life. Slowly, carefully, little details here and there combined with behavior and thoughts. These characters develop and mold into true people with thoughts, issues, and solutions.
A lot happens in these few hundred pages. Many lives are unveiled and a lot of truly personal and intimate details are revealed. Just like in real life, the characters are all different. And yet equally as realistic, these people we meet are no different from many others, each having their qualities and personalities, flaws and issues, dreams and failures, losses and successes.
Today we have a short review of what my book tour group calls a “Quick Bite”. These are short stories that take little time to read but still fit in the horror/suspense/thriller genre. Once a month we get the option of asking for that month’s “Quick Bite” and the opportunity to review it. This month we had a very intriguing tale that is only about eight pages long.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with our character. Our main character has no name. There is no solid description of them to form that image in the mind of the reader. You get little tidbits here and there, but nothing to form a complete image of a real person. And yet, we quickly realize that this main character is also the narrator. Written in an almost stream-of-consciousness manner, the author takes us inside the head of this character and the prison cell they are in. And then it just kind of takes off on its own.
I found the story to be quite entertaining and it had a constant grasp on me. I liked the kind of anonymity that the character has while still being someone absolutely relatable. I can typically read about a page per minute on average. I got through this eight-page story in just about five minutes.
There are so many seemingly random oddities in the dialogue but I assure you, these comments for a very clear picture when put together and put with the context. I must admit, while it takes a lot to shock me and I wasn’t really “shocked”, some of the comments and dialogue in this story caught me a little of guard. Now, for me, that just adds to the fun of the story and the whole feeling of suspense, and that need to know what happens next and where all of it is going.
This was all that is in the summary I got:
“Prison time hangs heavy. Prison life is not kind. There is a [sic] corruption in it. There is no redemption.
But everyone needs a break. Everyone needs a friend.”
But, that was enough for my interest to be genuinely piqued. And it is a unique writing style that doesn’t show up very often. That makes for a new kind of fresh type of reading experience.
My only struggle was that there were no quotation marks around the lines of dialogue. It was a little confusing to follow but not difficult and certainly not impossible. But the actual formatting of the piece which was all left justified and did not always have those few “return” lines between paragraphs to space them out coupled with the missing quotation marks for dialogue did sometimes make me stumble a little here and there through the story. Meaning that I would have to go back and re-read certain parts to make sure I was fully understanding who was saying what to whom and from where and at what time. But that is my only criticism.
I like the content of the story and the way the character was written. I think on that front, which is the most important of all, did a fantastic job. This is even a short story that I will be reading more than once. I enjoyed it that much. It gave that perfect combination of a chill crawling up your spine and a devious smile of satisfaction at the same time.
This would be a fabulous quick read for any fan of any aspect of the horror genre.
About The Author
Carly Rheilan was born in Malta and lives in the UK. She was educated at Oxford University (which she hated and left) and then at Brunel (a small-town technological university where she stayed for a Ph.D.). She is a psychiatric nurse. She has done research into criminal justice and taught in universities. She has children of her own and has also fostered children with mental health problems. She has worked many years in the NHS, in secure units and prisons.
Get your copy at the link below:
Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/SuspendedAnimation
This book was an interesting compilation of unsolved crimes that span over several years and include a variety of crimes. These are real cold cases that have never been solved. The purpose of this book is to give the reader all the available information and let them decide what they think happened. I would have to say though this book was very interesting and informative, it is not for those who need conclusion when reading or watching films, stuff like that. If not knowing what happened is going to bother you then you probably aren’t going to like this book.
However, if you don’t mind the absence of conclusion and you enjoy true crime then you would most likely find this book intriguing to read, just as I did.
The author has gone to great lengths to present all the facts of each case in a well-written narrative format, telling the reader a story as they learn all about the case. Just like with anything heavy with details and loads of information there are just a few small dry moments where the book gets just a tiny bit boring but they don’t last but a few paragraphs here and there.
Overall, I liked this book. It was very captivating learning about all these new cases that remain unsolved. We mostly just hear about the cases that get closed and the people that get arrested. To me, this book was a nice mix between the flow of fiction and the truth of a textbook, melded together to make for one entrancing read.
The Best New True Crime Stories:
Partners in Crime
Book 5 in series of 5
As most of my readers know, I am very interested in true crime. Human behavior and their reasons for said behavior fascinate me. So far, this book makes the third that I have read of the five currently available in this series. So far, each installment in the series has been incredibly interesting, very thought-provoking, and fairly disturbing at times.
In this particular collection, we have a vast array of types of crimes. These crimes include acts such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault, and more. The one thing all of the dastardly deeds described in these pages is that for each crime there was a pair of perpetrators, not a single person. This focus on various atrocities committed by people that not only partner together to commit these acts but also feed off of each other and thrive on being together and involved with each other in each crime.
This book shows that some people while fairly harmless individually can become something dark and dangerous when paired with the right person. Somehow some people just have chemistry that drives them into the depths of depravity together as one solid unit. Apart from and without each, other these offenders probably wouldn't have ever ventured to hurt another. But together? Together they can combine to become a very lethal and formidable duo.
And still, some of the cases presented show us that when bad people pair up with other bad people they can behave worse than before. They can embolden each other, challenge each other, push and pull at egos and insecurities. Whatever it takes to get what they want.
I once heard something to the effect of 'when two damaged people come together no matter how much they love each other you can expect more damage'. Now, I don't know if that is truly 100% correct but the cases laid out in this collection certainly show that the people who were already on a bad path seemed to only exacerbate that by joining together with another damaged person. (I'm not talking about normal dysfunctional kind of damage. I'm talking about people who already lack moral psychology, have a skewed measurement of right and wrong, and who have already forgone the basics of humanity.)
While perpetrating their violations upon innocent victims each of these pairs were willing participants with no regard for anyone or anything, nor did they have any real concern about any consequences that may arise from their criminality. They become very wrapped up in each other and almost seem to live through their crimes in a fantasy world where nothing bad can happen to them and there will be the fairytale ending where they live happily together forever and ever. But the reality is very different.
I found this book to be just as interesting as the other two that I have read. I like that each case is written by a different author. This gives the reader a variety of writing styles to keep the information stimulating and appealing. This is also a valuable way of letting the stories be told in different voices. Each person, especially authors and true storytellers, tells their account of the events in their own way. Some people are more fact-based. Others are more descriptive with vivid imagery created for the reader. Some are a combination of storyteller types. But we all have our own voice.
Furthermore, the cases are from all over the world at different times in the past. It's not just current crimes or crimes committed in just one region. Again, this is a technique that is beneficial to the reader as it exposes them to events they may not have otherwise known about or even thought to research. There were several cases in this edition of this series that piqued my interest and I made notes to try to find even more information in addition to the large number of facts already presented to me.
For the true-crime buffs, this is one you will definitely want to read. It's not filled with horror and gore, although yes there are many appalling tragic events detailed. But it truly is more of a written documentary of people who, when they paired up, were nothing but bad news, detailing their crimes and histories, both personal histories and each couple's histories leading up to their crimes. I hope this series continues to grow. I'm very anxious to see what special subset of criminals Szereto chooses to educate us about next.
Click HERE to purchase your copy now!
This novel was one of the books I chose to review from the Blackthorn Tour group. This was a novel that I enjoyed reading. This story is, in my opinion, a new take on typical paranormal activity mixed with the kind of slow but steady suspense that keeps you turning page after page. There were a number of nights that stayed up way later than I should have just to keep reading.
There are a few instances where the author gets a little long-winded, very similar to the style of Stephen King in the novel IT. There were more than just a couple of areas where the author repeats the same information multiple times, almost as if it were some sort of reminder or recap, which is fine but, not necessary.
I also felt that the length of the novel was a little long for the actual story content it possesses. I felt that there was a significant portion of the background and filler content that could have simply been omitted and the story would have been just as impactful, if not even more so. Other parts of this kind of content could have been condensed to avoid repeating the information so much. Plus, I found the characters a little, I don’t know, disjointed maybe. They seemed hard to relate to a lot of the time. Even though their personalities where well represented by their dialogue, the rest of the details about the characters seemed kind of faint and eventually seemed to get lost in the body of the plot.
All that being said, I did enjoy the story. I found the descriptive and creative writing completely conveyed the shattering imagery that left vivid and often very eerie pictures in my mind as I read on. This talent alone made the story worth reading. However, I must say that for pure horror lovers I think this novel is a fifty-fifty shot as to whether it will be well received in that audience. I think this would be more popular in the suspense/thriller drama type of genre.
I have long found fascination and abundant interest in not only law enforcement and forensic science but also the practice of law. As the daughter of a police officer I was fortunate enough to see a number of facets in our law enforcement and judicial system in action. I also got in trouble as a teen so I saw both sides of the law (and no, my father being a cop didn’t get me out of anything, I was treated the same as anyone else in that court). But, because Dad was a cop and I was around law enforcement all the time, and because one of his former partners on the force (the only female partner he had while a police officer) went on to become an Assistant District Attorney for our county, and later a judge where she still presides today, I was well exposed to the reality of the world we live in. And I was fascinated. Although I would later discover that careers in these fields would be too overwhelming for someone with my particular personality and health issues, the fascination remained strong. And thus began my consistent interest in true crime. So, when the opportunity to read this book came my way, I jumped at the chance.
Blurb for book:
“For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut off every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence and coercion.
In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team battled against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with survivors, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.”
This is a true story written by the prosecutor herself. Nothing can top a first-hand accounting of a case or situation other than being there and involved yourself. In this book, Prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of her long and arduous battle within the bounds of the law and the walls of the courtroom. But, she’s not telling about just any random old case that might be interesting or entertaining. This case is about taking down literally the largest sex trafficking ring in the world, Backpage.com.
Backpage was a website that, on the surface, looked like any other website that collects and runs personal ads. It was supposedly like the newspaper’s version of the personals section, publishing ads for things like handyman work, furniture sales, various services and items for sale including actual personal ads where people were looking to meet new people to date. It quickly became obvious that this website was mostly in the business of publishing the personal ads. But not all these ads were just regular personals, they were ads for sexual services. Girls and women of varying ages, some as young as twelve years old, with pictures of them in scantily clad clothing (if you can call it that) and suggestive poses advertising dates and services, quoting prices and providing contact information to schedule a purchase. A purchase, mind you. As if these human beings were material possessions. This is the very essence of sex trafficking.
One must realize the difference between sex trafficking and sex work as a chosen profession. The ones that choose this work are exercising free will. But a large portion of the ads on this site were selling services of those who were not given the choice. These are girls and women that have been kidnapped from their homes and hometowns, smuggled into the country, found as runaways, etc. and then forced into selling their bodies to pay their captors for whatever these morons think these girls owe them for. They are often kept like prisoners in warehouses, basements and homes. They are forced to have sex with people they don’t know and don’t like for money that they don’t get to keep for up to twelve or more hours each day, constantly having “dates” scheduled the whole time. The people that pay money to violate these women are allowed to do anything they wish with them, so long as they have negotiated what both parties would perceive as a proper and agreeable price with the handler or pimp. And that’s the life these ladies are forced to lead. Forced to start doing the sex work, forced to live in the abusive and dangerous hell and forced to do whatever it takes to survive.
Now, you would think if the owners of this website were helping traffick young girls and women for sex and getting money in return, it would be relatively easy to arrest them and shut them down. However, this is not the case.
Within the pages of this book you’ll read about how the owners of Backpage, which I have personally dubbed the BP3 for easy reference when reading this book, operated with impunity under the protection of a general publishing indemnification act called the Communications Decency Act. The BP3, which consisted of James Larkin, Mike Lacey and Carl Ferrer, which basically states that they as publishers are not responsible for the content that is posted on their site nor are they responsible for the activities that stem from said content. So, they can basically let anything get posted on their site (sites, explained in the book) and anything can happen from that and they are just publishers. If I understand the Act correctly it basically means that if you see something on let’s say a social media website and it offends you, under the protection of this Act the owners of that social site cannot be sued or held liable for anything that is posted on the site nor any illegal or offensive activities resulting from any of those posts.
Prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the experience she had in fighting this particular piece of legislation that was being exploited in order to commit horrendous crimes against women and avoid any liability or accountability. She expertly breaks down and through all the legalese that frustrates so many people and explains the events that occurred so clearly that there is no room for confusion. Something I’m sure she did while presenting her case in the courtroom as well.
Krell skillfully tells of overcoming the painstaking obstacles, hurdles, mindsets and ignorance involved when bringing together a case of this magnitude. The pushback from so many sides would have been enough to wear on any prosecutor, any lawyer really, and yet she continues in her fight for justice for these exploited and abused survivors and to get the laws changed so the trafficking of human beings into sexual slavery wouldn’t be so easy and convenient for the bad guys. Ms. Krell also truly realizes the significance of sex crimes against women and the enormous impact such things as being trafficked can have.
Prosecutor Maggy Krell is a rare type of person. She is truly a soldier of justice, speaking for the victims and survivors, helping to tell their stories to the world and tirelessly working for the protection of all crime victims, regardless of their current apparent circumstances or what led them to that situation to begin with. It is clear that she is a compassionate woman with a firm belief in getting justice for those who have been violated in some of the most vile ways imaginable. And what this one woman accomplished by leading the charge against Backpage.com and their owners and publishers is nothing short of heroic and historic.
Anyone who is looking for a little glimpse of reality not only into the world of a prosecutor’s life and work, but also to what the victims and survivors of sex trafficking actually go through. This book is also quite the eye-opener in what lengths some people will go to in order to avoid the law, avoid prison and avoid going broke by continuing to commit these heinous offenses over and over and over again.
This is definitely a true crime book for the true crime lover. Any person who is passionate about stopping sex crimes and abuse towards women and children will find this book quite informative as well as motivating to get involved in the fight to stop human trafficking.
Get your copy at the link below:
Stories of the World’s End
Author: Fran Lewis
This was another short story I chose to read from Blackthorn Books Tours’ “Quick Bite” for December. (For any new readers in my audience, these are short stories instead of full-length novels available for review.) My curiosity was piqued when I read the blurb and saw that it was a short story about the end of the world. I seem to always find doomsday type stories, movies, etc. fun, interesting and exciting but also horrific and terrifying at the same time.
As I started reading this, it’s only about twenty pages, I was thinking it had real potential. And I must state before I give my actual review that I still believe it has great potential. So, at the start of it, I was pleased and eager to turn pages.
The author describes multiple scenarios in which the world’s population has decreased to zero or near zero. Some scenarios have nothing living on the planet. No humans, animals, plants, nothing. Others there are some signs of life but still rather desolate and fairly void of signs of living inhabitants. All of these worlds could be considered a version of Hell on Earth. Lewis describes the emptiness, the loneliness, the profound damage and destruction all around. She can convey emotional traits these worlds bring forth in very vivid ways. The death and destruction, the pain and suffering, the danger and isolation, desperation, sadness and emptiness flooding the reader as the turn the pages of a number of possible futures.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss two particular things that I found somewhat…bothersome, I guess would be a good way to describe the feeling that I started having. Each chapter is only a few pages long. The first issue I had with this short story was how repetitive the writing seemed to be. For example, in one section of the story there are three chapters back-to-back, all describing the exact same kind of world. It seems that the author was trying to give us different points of view through various characters at assorted times in the story. So, let’s say the first chapter (in this set I am talking about) would be a general description of the new world. The next chapter is a more detailed description with causation added. The third would then be the same world being described but from a character’s point of view. Yet, even though we are talking about three different chapters, it was as if the same chapter repeated three times, varying only in vocabulary. Even at only twenty pages this became very tiresome very quickly.
My second observation really had me feeling rather uneasy and uncomfortable. And here’s why:
During the description of each world there is a “soap box” preaching type of feel embedded in what could be a great story. Covid-19 is mentioned multiple times throughout the whole work and whether or not people get vaccinated seems to be a key issue here. It also seems that the writer automatically assumes that whoever is reading this is against or doesn’t believe in things like Covid, the vaccines, global warming/climate change. The way things are worded at many points in the story there is almost a shaming aspect geared toward the people who exercised their right not to get the vaccine. There also seems to be some righteous indignation towards people who decline to conform to the mandates and rules set down as the pandemic hit and throughout its global run. We are given multiple scenarios of the world’s end and they all seem start with people not being vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus and other viruses that would follow. It’s almost as if this author is using this short story as a warning to the reader and implying that this is what will happen if you don’t get vaccinated.
Now, if you are someone that doesn’t have issues with the mask mandates or the vaccines and you wear your mask and got your shots, the kind of thing I just described probably wouldn’t really bother you. You’d probably just find it a little heavy handed on the preaching and a little light in the plot. But, if you are a person that is against the mandatory masking, against places of business or education requiring vaccination or if you don’t believe in or trust the vaccines or you feel that the government has done this on purpose to the population…you may very well likely be offended while reading this story.
I feel that the author has a great base for a fantastic story. Such emotionally vivid descriptions set the stage perfectly for the end of the world or a world after people. Also, this story has enormous potential for the ultimate amount of creepiness and eeriness already rooted with huge gusto in the core of the story. But when the repetitive chapters are combined with the “shame on you” and “this is the fault of the unvaccinated” kind of attitude, it can actually become quite annoying rather quickly. If the preaching had been significantly toned down or, better yet, completely removed this story would have been one hell of an eerie and creepy tale of life beyond mankind. More time and effort could have been spent on developing the story’s imagery and actually building and nourishing the characters’ personality profiles. This would also allow the author to unveil much more intricate descriptions, resulting in the story and its characters having a fuller feel with a lot more body and impact. Unfortunately, we don’t have any idea who is telling the story and when we do meet characters, they are only referred to by letters, such as “S” or “M”.
And one question kept being asked over and over and over again throughout the entire story. In fact, this one question seemed to be on about a third of the pages. “Would you want to live in a world like this?”. That question or some slight variation of it permeated the story from beginning to end. This made it feel almost like you were ten years old again and getting a lecture from your mother about something you did wrong. Again, if this was not so prevalent and so ‘in your face’ the story would have been much better. In my opinion, if the preaching and indignation were removed this story would most certainly be a huge hit amongst those horror lovers that like doomsday end of the world storylines. But as it stands now, it seems to be more like a public service announcement warning of tragedy to come if all people do not conform. That in itself is a little creepy to me. So, I can’t just tell you guys that you’ll love this. I honestly am not sure at all how any random person would respond to this. I would assume some would naturally like it, some naturally wouldn’t, some wouldn’t care about the preachy side of it and some would be incredibly offended. I don’t know which one of those groups any of you as my readers would fall in to. This is one I have to leave up in the air as far as recommendations go. But my rating of the story is still an honest rating. I just can’t say for sure who to recommend this one to.
As an avid reader and participant on the team of Blackthorn Book Tours I chose this novel mostly because of the author and then the summary/blurb cinched it for me. I have read a few of this author’s novels and only one so far wasn’t my sort of thing. So, I figured this was a safe choice and going to be a good novel.
Here’s the blurb:
“Lexi Mazur is a depressed, alcoholic, pill-popper whose only joy has become her reality TV shows, often fantasizing that the people on TV are a part of her world. After her boyfriend Steve leaves her, she fixates on the show Socialites and its star Magnolia Artois, following every facet of the girl’s life on social media in the hopes of befriending and becoming more like her.
But stalking isn’t new to Lexi. She ultimately won over her ex Steve by following and manipulating every minute detail about him so he’d fall for her. In fact, she landed her other ex-boyfriend Jeremy in the same way. Being a pharma rep, she’s used to manipulation to get doctors to buy her drugs, along with the perk of saving pills for herself.
But what happens when the stalker gets stalked?
Recently, Lexi has felt someone watching her: in her apartment in Queens, at her job. At first, she thinks her mind’s playing tricks, but the watcher is behaving just like she would. And soon they begin leaving threatening clues like she starts to do to Magnolia once her obsession grows more dangerous. Is it one of her exes out for revenge? Her only real friend from childhood who she’s always had an unhealthy rivalry? A detective who may have figured her out? The reality star Magnolia trying to turn the tables? Or even someone she might not know?
Lexi learns the only way to beat her stalker is to use her own stalking prowess to outsmart them at their own game. But has she finally met her match?”
And I was right! Now, I must admit that at the beginning I was unsure. There is a lot of content in the first few chapters about one particular character on a reality tv show. I personally cannot stand the scripted drama of reality tv so I was a little put off at the start. I almost decided to forgo the rest of the novel, thinking that if it was only about this chick’s obsession with this awful reality show and its horrible cast I could not bear to read a full novel of that.
Luckily for me, I stuck with it and it turned out that the reality show stuff was more of a lead in and background plot which then left plenty of room for the creations of Goldberg that I tend to enjoy so much.
This novel was actual quite a thrill to read and truly had me going back and forth on what I thought would happen next or who would be involved. Quite the page turner and eerie, creepy surprises around every corner. I have to say this was one of those novels that after the first few chapters I could barely set it down. The writing of the main character is superb and beyond capable of creating a real sense of who this gal is. The unsettling feeling of someone watching you or following you is completely palpable in this literary creation.
For the suspense thriller and adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you!
About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY.
His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box.
His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.
After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.
Follow him at:
Website – leematthewgoldberg.com
FB – https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
IG – https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Blackthorn Book Tours has a wonderful new “Quick Bite” tour. These are shorter stories than the normal novels we get to choose from. I happen to really dig short stories and novellas so I jumped at this opportunity. It’s nice to have a short story to read on a lunch break or waiting at the airport, that kind of thing. Just a little quick retreat and escape from the crazy hustle and bustle of day to day living in these modern times. Everyone is so go, go, go. So surely at only about five thousand words (around nineteen pages) anyone could fit this in for a reader’s rapid retreat.
Here is the blurb that made me request the book:
“Suicidal teenager Rich Anthony was on his way to step in front of an express train when he spots a battered acoustic guitar left outside an Oxfam shop. Intrigued, Rich postpones his plans, takes the guitar home and teaches himself to play.
What happens next changes his life.”
I’m not going to say anything else really about the actual story itself. I want you all to read it. It was fantastic!
First of all, I read this in less than twenty minutes. Such a quick read. Part of that is because the plot is constantly moving forward at an intriguing pace. Plus, this is a story that surrounds only a few characters so you aren’t trying to figure out who did what with whom and when and why, always having to jog your memory thinking to yourself ‘was that the guy that was in the story a few chapters back? What was his deal again?, making you go backwards in the story instead of forward and thereby disrupting the flow of the imagination. Not happening in this short story. The limited character structure helps with keeping their individual personalities straight and is a perfect way to continually establish a timeline, since you are only dealing with just a few people.
I actually liked this story enough I read it twice. The author uses the most wonderful descriptions with a very impactful vocabulary to create specific images in the mind of the reader. Even though it is a short story, the amount of information presented is staggering but entertaining. Everything is immaculately detailed, direct, precise and expertly constructed to beckon the reader to press on to the end and find out what happens.
The one thing I enjoyed most about this story is the idea of karma worked into the plot line. Karma is supposed to be quite fickle at times but always there somewhere. Here we have a front row seat to the unfolding of true karmic retribution and the inevitable cosmic balance of the universe. Truly a tantalizing tale. A must read for horror, suspense and thriller lovers. An absolute must have!!!
From The Author:
I grew up in a small market town in rural Herefordshire before joining the Royal Navy. After 22 years in the submarine service and having travelled extensively, I now live and write in rural Worcestershire.
I have written two novels, Fat Man Blues and Near Death, and a bunch of short stories and poems.
My stories reflect my life-long fascination with the dark underbelly of American culture; be it tales of the Wild West, the simmering menace of the Deep South, the poetry of Charles Bukowski, or Langston Hughes, the writing of Andrew Vachss and John Steinbeck, or the music of Charley Patton, Son House, Johnny Cash, or Tom Waits.