Tag Archives: serial killer

Misadventure Memoirs Book One: Little Girl Scream by Al E. Boy and F. Carod Review

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

The young woman running her family’s best hotel finds herself immersed in police investigations as a series of deaths and murders hits the hotel, and with the help of an English professor she must thwart the sinister forces behind these crimes before its too late in the authors F. Carod and Al E. Boy’s “Misadventure Memoirs Book One: Little Girl Scream”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Absolutely nothing can compare to the Hotel Amatista, Cancun’s premier luxury resort. The jewel in her family’s chain of 5 star hotels, Sofia Hernández is in charge, and the young woman takes great pride when she hears guests remark the hotel makes them feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s been happening lately, Young guests vanish, only to turn up the next day…abused, tortured…and dead. Sofia suddenly has her hands full dealing with police investigations, trying to ease her guests’ fears, and doing her best to save the Amatista’s reputation. And, with no way of knowing if the sadistic culprit is a hotel employee or a guest, stopping the killings will be no easy task. With the help of Dale Mathis, a visiting English professor, she is able to thwart further abductions and murders, but her interference draw the ire of the sinister mastermind who decides Sofia must pay for her boldness. To make matters even worse, her new friend becomes the number one suspect of the Cancun police.

The Review

The author really did an incredible job of creating a captivating and creepy murder mystery and thriller. For personal context, my first introduction to Al E. Boy was through a children’s Christmas series of books, and so when I got this request to review his new adult thriller series, I was shocked. The chilling cover of the book immediately put me in a creepy vibes type of mood when starting the read, and the chilling opening chapter set the tone for this thriller.

I loved the balance the author found between the more disturbing and shocking horror/serial killer moments of this thriller with the more personal and heartfelt character development, especially between Sofia and Dale, whose friendship develops into something truly inspiring by the book’s end. The mystery is well developed over time and the detailed descriptions brought about a haunting imagery to the writing that will instantly draw horror fans into this thriller.

The Verdict

Gripping, mind-blowing, and entertaining, author Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventures Memoirs: Little Girl Scream” is a must-read action/horror thriller and the perfect start to a captivating series. The imagery and haunting tone of the narrative, along with a brilliant narrative that twisted and turned with shocking developments that readers wouldn’t see coming, made for a story that is not to be missed.  Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

https://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

The Science of Serial Killers: The Truth Behind Ted Bundy, Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Other Notorious Murderers of Cinematic Legend by Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence Review

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

Authors and podcast co-hosts Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence take readers on a twisted and horrifying journey into the inspirations and sciences behind the true monsters of some of Hollywood’s most iconic horror films in their book, “The Science of Serial Killers: The Truth Behind Ted Bundy, Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Other Notorious Murderers of Cinematic Legend”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Discover the real-life inspirations behind history’s most infamous serial killers: John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and so many more.

Gothic media moguls Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, authors of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, and The Science of Stephen King, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the serial killers who inspired the movies and media we all know and love. Delve into the brutal truth behind horror’s secret: many monsters portrayed on the silver screen are based on true murderers. Uncover the truth behind the real monsters of horror, answering such questions as: 

What is the science behind serial killers’ motivations like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy? 

How did detectives discover the identities of criminals like the Boston Strangler and the BTK Strangler?

Has science made it possible to unmask Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer? 

What is the science behind female versus male serial killers? 

Through interviews, film analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, join Kelly and Meg as they learn about the horrors of true crime through the decades. 

The Review

I absolutely loved this read. As someone who has been fascinated with true crime and in particular the psychology behind the few individual criminals who can be classified as “serial killers”, and as a big-time fan of horror films and books, I was instantly drawn to the authors and their work. The amount of detailed research and history each put into these killers and crimes, and yet were able to craft it into a concise and very readable book, was astounding to read. 

What really stood out though was the author’s work to identify the fascination and inspiration these true-life killers had on some of the most iconic horror films of our era. From Jack the Ripper’s inspiration for the film From Hell to the murders of the DeFeo family that inspired the Amityville Horror film series, both authors did such an amazing job of breaking down each film and project that these killers were responsible for and showcased how the intricate details of their crimes lead to some of cinema’s darkest and most memorable horror moments. 

The Verdict

Haunting, visceral, and engaging, authors Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence’s “The Science of Serial Killers: The Truth Behind Ted Bundy, Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Other Notorious Murderers of Cinematic Legend” is must-read nonfiction read! The in-depth analysis of both film and true crime will have horror fans enthralled by the information the authors share. With the wide array of different criminals, from the prolific to the under-the-radar crimes that will absolutely shock you, this is one collection readers won’t want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Authors

About Meg Hafdahl: 

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 

https://www.meghafdahl.com/

About Kelly Florence: 

Kelly Florence teaches communication at Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN and is the creator of the Be a Better Communicator podcast. She received her BA in theatre from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her MA in communicating arts from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She has directed, produced, choreographed and stage managed for dozens of productions in Minnesota including Carrie The Musical through Rubber Chicken Theatre and Treasure Island for Wise Fool Theater. She is passionate about female representation in all media and particularly the horror genre.

https://www.horrorrewind.com/

The Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson Review

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

An FBI agent with a gift for sensing lies finds herself searching for two kidnapped twins and a suspect with little to no information in a race against time in author Natalie Hanson’s novel, “The Unknown Man”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

It took just a tiny bit more matter than antimatter for the big bang to produce the entire universe. Born with an abnormality that manifests through her body, imbalance is something Zalla Bennbett understands. Her ability to sense out lies gives her an advantage on FBI investigations, but sixteen years in, both her marriage and career are on the rocks.

Zalla is assigned to work the kidnapping of an FBI informant’s young twins. With no evidence or leads, her suspect is deemed ‘The Unknown Man’. She’ll have to fight against her instincts to find the girls before time runs out.

The Review

A chilling and gripping tale, author Natalie Hanson has delivered a masterpiece thriller like no other. The author does a fantastic job of delivering suspense and drama on every page through perfect pacing and shocking narrative developments. The complex web of deceit and the twists and turns the author showcases in the narrative help bring out the terror that helps define the horror/thriller genre. 

The novel is the perfect balance of character development and pacing, taking the time to introduce readers to this narrative’s characters and establish a bond between the reader and the characters. The revelations that are made throughout the novel and the identity of the villain who has brought a level of complexity and drama to the narrative make this story a real stand-out amongst the other new releases in this genre.

amzn_assoc_ad_type = “banner”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_placement = “assoc_banner_placement_default”; amzn_assoc_campaigns = “audible”; amzn_assoc_banner_type = “category”; amzn_assoc_isresponsive = “true”; amzn_assoc_banner_id = “0S6C9RC4J0QCW7HD2PG2”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “authoranthony-20”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “54e48b08cb5048486fcc1cc628e64538”; //z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&Operation=GetScript&ID=OneJS&WS=1

The Verdict

A memorable, engaging, and chilling novel of twisted games and haunting memories, author Natalie Hanson’s “The Unknown Man” is the perfect first entry into a brand new series of thrillers following a complicated and unique new protagonist. The shocking revelations the narrative unveils really make this novel inviting and nail-biting, making for the perfect summer thriller. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Natalie Hanson is an author and screenplay writer born and raised in Seattle, WA.

‘The Unknown Man’ is the first of five novels chronicling the hunt for serial killers and criminals by FBI agent Zalla Bennbett. This dark series examines the worst criminals humanity has to offer through the eyes of a jaded agent, struggling to keep optimism alive and fight for the voiceless.

Book two in the series, ‘The Butcher’, is an upcoming release.

Her novel ‘Every Moment and Not a Second More’ was published on Amazon in 2018.

Currently she is collaborating on a horror genre comic series based on her screenplay “Dociles.” It tells the story of a teen runaway, kidnapped by a medical examiner who turns the dead into zombies. It’s a fight to not end up as one of the herd!

https://nataliehardy9.wixsite.com/author/books

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. 

Advertisements

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

Advertisements

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”. 

Advertisements

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

Advertisements

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. 

Advertisements

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. 

Advertisements

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.

Advertisements

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/

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory #2) by Tosca Lee Review

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

The truth of Audra Ellison’s past is revealed, and now the fight for not only her life but all of her people can truly begin in author Tosca Lee’s second and final book in the Descendants of the House of Bathory series, Firstborn. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test.

The Review

This book does what all sequels should do. It builds upon the foundation laid by the first book and ups the ante in big and unexpected ways. Firstborn does an amazing job of seeing Audra fully embrace herself after her long journey to discover who she is. In the series conclusion, we see a more confident and determined Audra emerge, a hero risen from the ashes and set on ending a centuries long war that has claimed too many lives.

The book moves at a fast pace from the first page, keeping readers on the edge of their seat as they race right alongside Audra on her journey. What really drew me into the story was the way the author challenges readers to think about history itself. After reading the book I dug into the history behind Elizabeth Bathory, and some of the details of her case really have me challenging what I thought I knew.

Time and pop culture have made her into a terrifying monster, embellishing the number of her victims and the crimes she was accused of. Did she really kill all those people? Or was she the target of a King’s ambition? After reading this fiction book, I am definitely intrigued enough to look into this case further, and encourage others to do the same. That’s the power this author has over readers. She challenges readers to look at life critically and examine all sides of any situation.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It has a heart pounding journey that leads to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. Readers who love the first book will not be disappointed, and it not only makes you want to delve into the true history of this story but has you feeling connected to Audra and her friends as if you have lived this journey with them, marking a truly captivating story and author. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Firstborn by Tosca Lee today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476798672/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1476798672&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Author

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated new thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

https://www.instagram.com/toscalee/

Check out the review for book one, The Progeny, here!

The Fifth To Die (4MK Thriller #2) 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.

Today is a special treat my friends. I was recently sent an advanced copy of the highly anticipated sequel to one of my favorite thrillers in the last few years, The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker. This time around the author has published The Fifth To Die, a thrilling ride that explores the continuing hunt for the deadly 4MK. Here’s the synopsis:

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. 

While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

This book was incredible. Of course as with all my reviews this will be a spoiler-free review. However I can honestly say that author J.D. Barker has mastered how to write the perfect sequel, upping his game greatly to create an even more intense, thrilling and engaging story than The Fourth Monkey. Delving deeper into the killer’s past, Detective Porter finds himself drawn into the twisted world of 4MK in ways no one can ever imagine, unless of course you’re J.D. Barker.

The way the story takes readers into the minds of everyone involved in the case, from new investigators and the team you came to know and love in the first novel to the killer himself and the newest victims who have to face the very heart of darkness and evil alone. It’s a powerful and explosive story from the first page, showing the way everyone was affected by 4MK’s surprising actions in the first novel and how just when you thought you knew the limits of this killer, he takes things so much further. By the end of the story your heart will be racing and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, gasping for breath because you got so enraptured with the twist ending that you forgot to breath.

Overall I loved this story. It was so fun and thrilling to take part in, and the entire time I was reading it I kept asking myself when someone is going to make a movie or show about this story. The tale of 4MK and those hunting him is the modern day serial killer story we’ve been waiting for, and makes for the perfect summer thriller read. In J.D. Barker we’ve found a spiritual successor to the incredible Stephen King, taking the characters of the everyday man and transforming their lives into one of a kind adventures and thrill rides that only these one of a kind authors could come up with. If you haven’t preordered your copy yet, be sure to do so now. The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker comes out July 10th, 2018, so grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0544973976/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0544973976&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

ABOUT J.D.

jd_barker_biopic2

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://twitter.com/jdbarker

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

http://jdbarker.com/