Tag Archives: serial killer book

Four (Highwayman #2) by M.J. Preston Review

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

A killer returns with a vengeance in the haunting second book in the Highwayman series, “Four” by M.J. Preston. 

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The Synopsis

“The highwayman brought his hand up and ran his fingers through the beard. ‘Where do we go from here?’ he asked the Bundy-ish reflection. Sooner or later, the monster would have to be fed.”

Having abstained from killing for almost a year, the Highwayman is coming unglued.

Unsure if the FBI is watching, Lance Belanger spends his days and nights in a paranoid malaise, longing to kill again. Meanwhile, in Bucharest, Romania, an Interpol raid leads to clues and a witness who can identify the Highwayman. Armed with new evidence, newly promoted SAC FBI Agent, Dave Maxwell heads for Bucharest, as his team of investigators redeploys their investigation on their original suspect, Lance Belanger. It would appear, the net is closing.

But the Highwayman has other ideas.

Just after dusk, outside of Pittsburgh, four strangers exit a service van and perpetrate the mass murder of four families in their suburban homes. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to connect the killings to Highwayman, and when they raid Belanger’s properties, they are left a parting gift.

Another murder and a message for Maxwell from the Highwayman himself.

Come and find me!

The killing ramps up, Maxwell leads a posse of investigators across two states, north to Canada to try and thwart the Highwayman in his endgame, that involves kidnapping, mass murder, and betrayal.

The predator is now the prey.

But can they stop him before he disappears for good?

The Review

A chilling, heart-pounding and thrilling conclusion to the story of the Highwayman killer, author M.J. Preston has brought a fantastic story to life in the second Highwayman novel. Not only does the killer up the stakes and unleash chaos and fear on a much grander scale in the novel, but the criminal investigation is ramped up to the tenth power as the hunt flips the script, making the Highwayman the prey and the investigators the predators. 

The author does a great job of showcasing a notorious killer’s mind as the walls begin closing in around him. From his need to kill to the trickle effect that comes when one domino falls, unleashing enough clues to make Lance a prime suspect in the crimes he took so much time perfecting. The psychological and physical horror is ever-present in this tense thriller, making the author’s unique voice shine through brightly.

The Verdict

A one of a kind thriller with a truly scary serial killer and an action-fueled conclusion, Four by M.J. Preston is a must-read book. The novel does an excellent job of highlighting the author’s creative tone and expert handle on the genre and makes for one of the top horror reads of 2020 thus far. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

M.J. Preston’s debut novel: THE EQUINOX, published in 2012, was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Awards and rated a solid straight horror novel by a reviewer at Publisher’s Weekly. His second novel: ACADIA EVENT, published in 2015, was inspired by his time running the world longest ice road, as an ice road trucker, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. His third novel: Highwayman, the first of a two-part thriller, is forecast to be published in 2018. He resides in Alberta, Canada with his wife, Stormy and pet beagles Milo and Jake. Visit him online: His website: http: //mjpreston.net

Highwayman (Highwayman #1) by M.J. Preston Review

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

A brutal new serial killer seeks notoriety and a way to elevate his game, leaving the FBI investigator hunting him in a race against time in author M.J. Preston’s novel “Highwayman”. 

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The Synopsis 

The most terrifying monsters are real and walk among us every day.

Meet Lance Belanger, he has only one ambition, to be the most infamous killer of all time. After murdering a single mom and her toddler child, Lance indoctrinates himself into the world of serial murder. Before long, the bodies start turning up all over the country. Each victim is incapacitated by a puncture wound to the spine, then, while still alive, they are dismembered, their arms, legs, and head are severed from the torso.

FBI investigators call their killer “Highwayman.” But beyond the multi-state dumping of staged victims, the killer has left them little else to go on. With no DNA or forensic evidence, veteran FBI agent Lewis Ash is in a race against retirement as he tracks the elusive murderer.

Meanwhile, Lance has other plans that will up his game and increase his body count. In a web of murder that reaches from the United States to Bucharest, Romania, a diabolical plan is set into motion to attract the most dangerous predators the world has to offer.

Can the FBI stop this killer before he sets his plan into motion?

The Review

One of the more unique serial killer thrillers I’ve personally read in years, the author completely twists the common narrative by focusing on the killer himself, the Highwayman, as the protagonist. While the story focuses on both the killer and the investigators hounding him as his career rises, the focus remains on Lance, a young man who dreams of becoming more infamous than the likes of Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy. 

The author does a great job of upping the ante throughout the narrative, bringing readers along a chaotic and heart-pounding journey of a killer born and a killer on the rise. From the shocking opening pages of the killer’s first horrifying kills to the shocking accidental circumstances that gave him power and resources and beyond, the story truly delves into the fascination and abject horror that the mind of a serial killer often brings. 

The case gets complex as time goes on when the killer not only gains the attention of law enforcement everywhere but the attention of his own following as well, and soon the body count begins to rise more than he could have ever hoped for. It’s a chilling read as the story takes the reader on a spine-chilling and nail-bitter of an adventure. 

The Verdict

A brilliant, haunting and lengthy read, author M.J. Preston has created a gripping thriller that few readers will be able to put down. Not for the faint of heart, the story plays out like a cinematic tale that is waiting to be told and creates a modern-day killer that is sure to haunt the dreams of many a reader. Be sure to grab your copy of “Highwayman”, the first of the Highwayman series today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

M.J. Preston’s debut novel: THE EQUINOX, published in 2012, was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Awards and rated a solid straight horror novel by a reviewer at Publisher’s Weekly. His second novel: ACADIA EVENT, published in 2015, was inspired by his time running the world longest ice road, as an ice road trucker, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. His third novel: Highwayman, the first of a two-part thriller, is forecast to be published in 2018. He resides in Alberta, Canada with his wife, Stormy and pet beagles Milo and Jake. Visit him online: His website: http: //mjpreston.net

Special Announcement: Identity by Anthony Avina

Hello everyone! It’s once again World Book Day (UK & Ireland), and to celebrate that in 2020, I thought it only appropriate to announce to you all that as of today, my novel Identity is now available to own! That’s right, Identity is now published online and available in both print and eBook formats. 

Published through Sirens Call Publications, this is my first ever novel published with a publisher. It is a dream come true and I am so thrilled my first officially published novel is now live. I am so proud of this book, as it’s been a story that I’ve worked on with the Sirens Call Publications team for years. 

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The story challenges the concept of identity, both the identities society places on certain individuals and the identities we must fight to discover for ourselves. Set against a noir thriller/serial killer horror story, the novel focuses on a young man who finds himself the latest victim of a shocking killer; a private investigator who is desperate to save the life of a close friend’s son, and a rising celebrity with a dark secret of her own. 

The book challenges the classic roles given to people in a horror and thriller setting, twisting and turning the narrative as time goes on until readers are left on the edge of their seat wanting more. 

I hope you all will enjoy this book as much as I did writing it. I want to thank everyone at Sirens Call Publications for their support on making this project a reality. As I continue my pursuit of my writing career, I will always hold Identity in high regard as the book that made me believe my dream could be a reality, and I have to thank the team at Sirens Call for making that happen. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my journey thus far, and I welcome everyone who takes a chance on me and my novel and grabs their own copies. If you sign up for my free newsletter on my site you can also get a free short story from me as well when you sign up, and if you do purchase your own copy be sure to take a photo of either your paperback copy or your e-Reader with the eBook and tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll be sure to share it on my page. 

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this. I hope you have an amazing rest of your World Book Day. I will be announcing blog tours, sharing excerpts from the novel and more as time goes on, but for now I hope you enjoy finding out for yourself what truly defines a person’s…Identity. 

The Sixth Wicked Child (4MK Thriller #3) By J.D. Barker Review

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

A serial killer’s final act comes to fruition as the authorities are forced to ask themselves if the infamous 4MK is who they always believed he was, or if the hero of this tale is the monster all along in author J.D. Barker’s The Sixth Wicked Child. 

The Synopsis

In the riveting conclusion of the 4MK trilogy, Barker takes the thriller to an entirely new level. Don’t miss a single word of the series James Patterson called “ingenious.”

Hear No Evil

For Detective Sam Porter, the words “Father, forgive me” conjure memories long forgotten; a past intentionally buried. For Anson Bishop, these three words connect a childhood to the present as he unleashes a truth concealed for decades.

See No Evil

Found written on cardboard near each body, these words link multiple victims to a single killer—discovered within minutes of each other in both Chicago and South Carolina—clearly connected yet separated by impossible miles.

Speak No Evil

Chicago Metro and the FBI find themselves caught in chaos—a hospital on lockdown, a rogue officer, and corruption at the highest levels. When Anson Bishop, the prime suspect in the notorious 4MK serial murders turns himself in, he reveals a story completely unexpected, one that not only upends the current investigation, but one that will change the lives of all involved.

Do No Evil

With unrelenting tension and pulse-pounding suspense, the past unravels at breakneck speed as the truth behind the Four Monkey Killer’s motive is finally revealed in this masterfully crafted finale.

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The Review

The absolute best thriller of 2019 and one of the most heart-pounding, shocking and well crafted endings to a thriller series in years. The haunting and spine-chilling actions of 4MK have struck the nerve of fans around the world as this series has progressed, but author J.D. Barker outdoes himself in this incredible read. 

The way the author starts to share the connections between 4MK and protagonist Sam Porter bring about one of the most satisfying slow burn reveals of a thriller, delving into Anson Bishop’s past and revealing that 4MK may not be the most evil person in this tale. Forcing the reader to confront the true meaning of evil and the depths of human villainy that exists in our world, this story blends shocking revelations with high octane action and character development that plays like a film across the pages of this novel. 

By the story’s end, readers will realize that no one is who they seem. Heroes can be villains, just as villains can be the hero, even if it’s the hero of their own story. Any reader who has been following this series closely will thoroughly enjoy seeing threads even from book one reveal their connection to the story of Anson Bishop, and the final page of this tale will leave readers reeling as all if finally revealed.

The Verdict

An absolute must read novel of 2019, author J.D. Barker writes a compelling, engaging and satisfying conclusion to an epic thriller like no other. Creating a serial killer and villain that can stand up to the greats like Hannibal Lecter and The One-Armed Man of the hit tale The Fugitive, 4MK will forever be cemented as an iconic and terrifying foe. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of author J.D. Barker’s “The Sixth Wicked Child, the third and final chapter of the 4MK Thriller saga. 

RATING: 10/10

About the Author

Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.

At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. 

Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. 

After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public. The novel, titled Dracul, sold at auction to G.P. Putnam & Sons, with film rights going to Paramount. Andy Muschietti (IT, Mama) is attached to direct.

Barker’s initial indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.

Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.

http://facebook.com/therealjdbarker

https://www.instagram.com/jdbarker_author/

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Book Cover Reveal: I Was An Evil Teenager Remastered

Hello everyone! I am so proud to announce that my book, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered, is now available for preorder. It is available on Amazon for $2.99 and will be available for the same price soon on iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and more. Here is a little bit about the book:
Killer. Zombie. Demon.
Evil comes in many forms, and Lisa Etron embodies them all in I Was An Evil Teenager, the three novella series that explores evil and the ways in which it appears. Author Anthony Avina brings a unique look at the work of Lisa Etron, a seemingly normal teenage girl who harbors a dark secret that threatens to tear apart not only those closest to her, but an entire town as well.
Lisa Etron is the girl next door. Lisa Etron is the most beautiful and popular girl in her school. Lisa Etron is the girl of Dave Trent’s dreams. Lisa Etron is a demented killer, hellbent on chaos and murder, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those two goals. While a seasoned detective works to solve the mystery of a series of brutal murders, Lisa plans a deadly killing spree that threatens to destroy those who have made the mistake of loving her. 
This remastered edition of the book updates the story and brings a deep dive into the battle between good and evil. Showing the lengths in which evil is willing to go to to tear people down, and the way in which people use hope and love to overcome that evil, this novel features the combined novellas of I Was A Teenage Killer, I Was A Teenage Zombie and I Was A Teenage Demon. 
A twisted horror saga like no other, this series follows one group of people who must survive the twisted mind of a killer who refuses to go away and let them live happy lives. In this one of a kind novel, discover whether or not evil ever truly dies…
In honor of the book preorder, I wanted to share with you guys the official book cover reveal. I spent a long time designing this cover and hope it captures the essence of the books. I’d love for you guys to share this book cover on Twitter and Instagram. If you do tag me (@AuthorAAvina on Twitter, @authoranthonyavina on Instagram), and use the hashtag #EvilTeenager or #EvilTeenagerRemastered and I will share your posts on my social media feeds and feature you guys in my upcoming videos on my YouTube channel, Avina Vlogs. Thanks guys, and stay tuned for more information on this book release in the months to come. I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is due to release on October 20th, 2017! Preorder your copies today!
http://amzn.to/2vHLlhN