Tag Archives: horror suspense

South Side Alchemy by J.M. Sawyer Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man seeking a temporary escape from the responsibilities of life finds intrigue and mystery surrounding him as he escapes to the circus for a night, only to find himself immersed in dangers that threaten his future and force him to confront his past in author J.M. Sawyer’s “South Side Alchemy”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Jordan Peele’s Get Out meets Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Henry Lewis needed a temporary escape from his life. His job, home, and family have become the shackles that bind him in the prison of his mind. He longs to be free of it. . . for at least a little while. When Henry learns the circus has arrived in his Bronzeville neighborhood, he sneaks away in the night, hoping to find a brief escape from his troubles. With a world of distractions all around him, he finally feels free. But the circus paints a bright facade over a dark past, and the freer he feels, the more bound he becomes. He needs to break away. But before he can save his future, he’ll have to discover the sinister truth about his past. The stakes are high, and time is running out.

The Review

This was such a powerful and moving story. The blend of suspense and horror with edge-of-your-seat thriller and a hint of magic made this novel flow and kept me engaged throughout the story. The rich settings of this story, set in a particular historical period that gave readers a unique point of view that is rarely explored, were brought to life through powerfully vivid imagery and made the atmosphere feel thicker with tension.

For me, the psychologically and emotionally complex social and historical themes that were brought to life through dynamic character development made this a one-of-a-kind read. The protagonist’s journey and everything he endured were pushed to reflect the haunting history of the Black community and the chilling realities that very few people will ever know or understand. The dynamics between his interactions with the circus folks and the “real-world” people he interacted with not only mirrored the themes of segregation and social dynamics but the powerful effects that the events of the narrative began to have on his own psyche. 

The Verdict

Powerful, engaging, and thought-provoking, author J.M. Sawyer’s “South Side Alchemy” is a must-read suspense and horror thriller you won’t want to miss. The twists and turns in this story feel like a Jordan Peele movie bleeding into historical fiction and magical surrealism novel with a few elements of It’s a Wonderful Life thrown in for good measure, making this one novel that readers won’t want to miss this year. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

J. M. Sawyer is an author of adult suspense and horror novels. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Seton Hall University and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law. Formerly a criminal defense attorney, his road to publication was anything but conventional. It was during trial preparation that he learned his true calling was that of a storyteller and his true talent was plotting complex, multi-layered narratives that will keep readers turning pages until the very end. Those are the stories that shaped his love of books, so those are the stories he endeavors to tell. A New Jersey native, he now lives in Michigan with his wife, Nora, and his two sons, Jesse and Alexander.

https://www.jmsawyerbooks.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BHDVZ2N2/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F63225315-south-side-alchemy%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DC3Or7XYxYQ%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Delta by Tom Starita Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tensions mount in one man’s life when he discovers a young girl locked in his basement soon after the loss of his daughter, claiming to in fact be his daughter, and he must decide if fate has brought his daughter back to him or if he is slowly losing his grip on reality in author Tom Starita’s “Delta”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Jason Carico is a grieving father, desperately trying to come to grips with the loss of his eight-year-old stepdaughter, Delta, who drowned two months ago.

But if she’s dead, then why is there a little girl claiming to be Delta locked up in his basement?

Desperately wanting to believe her, Jason attempts to live a normal life while hiding his nightmare below. His anxiety explodes when his late wife’s sister appears on his doorstep. Can he trust her? Would she believe him? And what will the police think if they ever find out the only African American man in town has a white girl trapped in his basement?

The haunting motto of Mother’s death cult tolls throughout the book, “The Universe has a plan, independent from the wants of man.” 

The Review

This was such a chilling and haunting read. The tension and heart-pounding suspense the novel’s narrative brings to life was the perfect way to marry both the horror and thriller genres that this story needed. The pacing the author set up perfectly allowed readers to develop this compulsive need to understand the circumstances surrounding this strange and troubling situation, as one minute readers see a tale of a man who has captured a young girl in his basement, and in the next a disturbing cult has set their sights on the same girl, and in the next a powerful force of nature threatens to converge on everyone at once.

This book’s narrative was definitely character-driven, and the characters really elevated the tension and atmosphere of this gritty suspense thriller meet horror read. The emotional pull of these characters, from Jason’s fractured psyche and desire to “protect” Delta, to Colleen’s struggle to right a grievous wrong and stop the madness she suspects is happening, really kept me invested in the narrative. 

The Verdict

Haunting, engaging, and thrilling, author Tom Starita’s “Delta” is a must-read horror suspense read of 2022. The chilling atmosphere the author’s use of imagery creates and the shocking twists and turns that leave readers on the edge of their seats, eager for a second book, made this story shine so brightly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Tom Starita is the author of three novels, “Two Ways to Sunday,” “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated,” and his latest “Delta.” When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, “Who?” Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote, and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.

Originally from Staten Island, NY, Starita has now found a home in Connecticut with his amazing wife Shannon, their beautiful daughter Chloe and their potato of a dog Lola. But, most importantly, he loves the New York Mets.

https://goppygots.com/