Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Disintegration by Richard Thomas

Disintegration: A Windy City Dark MysteryDisintegration: A Windy City Dark Mystery by Richard Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘There are no mirrors in my apartment. I have forgotten my own face. My wife is a distant memory, and I can’t remember what she smells like, the melody of my son’s laugh, the butterfly kisses of my daughter’s soft lips on my cheek. They are shadows that haunt my every movement, and I drown them out, blur them every chance I get.’

Disintegration is a relentlessly dark nightmare of a thriller. The story of a man irrevocably lost, a past always just out of reach of his memories, tainted with tragedy, loss and ruin.

Told in first person our narrator is a mystery man existing in the backstreet's of the Windy city. Manipulated by Vlad his pusher, controlled and compelled by a mixture of drugs, sex and a complete loss for the value of human life, to kill repeatedly every time that envelope gets pushed under the door. A tattoo honours every kill and this man looks nothing like his former self, no resemblance to the man who once had a family to care for.

An assassin whose targets are the worst of humanity, killers, abusers, wholly justified or so he believes. The dregs of society, those with no chance or need of redemption, the very thing he searches for but just what's real in this twisted existence of killing, exploitation, sex, violence and the sense of a man fading, living on the edge, a breath away from falling off it.

Searching for answers persistently kept from him, forever watched and continually broken, clinging to a semblance of life, drifting through each day, waiting for the next job and a step away from the end.

Disintegration is a story of a man lost, desperate to find a path into the future but fighting through a fog that offers only resistance, a man's fight to find out who he is, what he was, what happened to a family he's aware of but only through slithers of consciousness. This is without doubt a dark and dirty trip through a bleak haze that never seems to end but its one well worth taking. The style of writing is one that's becoming more and more popular, a short, sharp sentence structure that gets you in the mind of the protagonist but never allowing you to settle into a rhythm. Certainly giving an intense feel amidst the darkness.

This was my first read from Richard Thomas and it definitely won't be my last.

Disintegration was provided by Alibi from the Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that’s what you’ve got.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Leave the Living by Joe Hart

Leave the LivingLeave the Living by Joe Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Leave the Living is a horror novella from Joe Hart and Darkfuse publications. Mickey Bannon is suffering, his ex-wife who he still loves is about to remarry, feelings are up in the air waiting for it all to end when the phone call comes that tells him his Father has died. Now he's got to travel to his hometown as a harsh Minnesota winter threatens his journey and sort everything out, see his Father for the last time.

'Mick froze, his foot dangling over the next step. The darkness was complete in its totality. Swimming afterimages left by the light danced before his eyes like capering spirit energy dissipating into some unseen dimension. His foot hovered over open air, and he pulled it back, sure that if he stepped down, there would be nothing there. He would fall into darkness, only the rushing wind in his ears and the sound of his own scream to accompany the plummet. The lights popped back on as if a switch had been thrown.'

When he arrives at his Father's house things definitely take a turn down strange alley, and he starts to question his sanity as things, impossible things start to happen. Is his imagination bursting into overdrive or is there a message for him, a path he must travel to find both secrets and answers.

Now Leave the Living is very well written, this was my first read from Joe Hart and I have a feeling it won't be my last, his writing is technically proficient and his prose is top notch. I noted loads of quotes I could have used in my review and that's generally a good sign. The story was ok, not the best I've read but this author without doubt and with the right story will be an award winner, he is that good.

'Mick let his air whistle out from between clenched teeth. In the theater of his mind, he saw the door flying open and some dark horror climbing out from inside, released from its prison by his own hand, eager and hungry.'

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Whom the Gods Would Destroy

Whom the Gods Would DestroyWhom the Gods Would Destroy by Brian Hodge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For most of his childhood, Damien was shunned by his sinister mother in favor of his older half-brother. Decades later, Cameron shows up, wanting help. Will Damien help him?

When I read the blurb saying this was HP Lovecraft meets Carl Sagan, I jumped on it since that's a pretty clever-sounding elevator pitch. Plus, I've loved some of Brian Hodge's short stories so I was itching to see what he'd do with a novella. He did pretty well.

Damien is an astronomy student with mother who was a little too interested in the occult. When his brother shows up, things quickly go off the rails in a tale of alien gods, meteor showers, and human sacrifice. Cameron's appearance shake's Damien's life to the core and one gets the sense it keeps on shaking long after the final page.

That's about all I want to say without revealing too much. Whom the Gods Would Destroy asks a lot of questions about man's place in the universe, the sheer vastness of the cosmos and whether or not we're alone. It's not fantastic but it was a fun, fascinating read. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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