51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade is a remarkable collection of short stories about what the author describes as demons, the undead, paranormal, psychopaths, spirits, aliens, and a few mysteries thrown in. That variety is what makes the collection remarkable. As I read through the stories, I looked for instances of similarities between the selections. I couldn’t find any. Which means the reader can look forward to 51 different themes. This amount of creativity is something I rarely see in literature; I see it more in stand-up comedic or political commentary.
There are several mysteries in this novel. They are set in the context of a serial killer’s exploits. Why does he kill? How does he choose his victims? The answer to the second question is of interest to the police, especially since it seems he initially committed three murders, then quit for sixteen years but now is back. The answer to the first question is more of interest to the psychiatrist but to find a true answer we have to talk to the killer. Detective Thomas Flagg is willing to talk to the killer; he has been waiting sixteen years to do so. His wife was the killer’s first victim. The only witness to the kidnapping that preceded his wife’s killing was his then two-year-old daughter Harper. She is older now and it seems the killer has come back and is looking for Harper. Detective Flagg does not intend to lose a second woman to the maniac.
Hidden in the Dark by Alyson Larrabee is a 320 page thriller. I nominated this book through the Kindle Scout program, it was accepted for publication, and I got a free advanced copy which looks as if it is treated as a verified purchase by Amazon. I think it is important for authors to get reviews on Amazon that are verified purchases. This is just one of the myriad administrative things that have not spurred my curiosity to further investigate. I just like to read books.
One of the first things a reader might note in You by Caroline Kepnes is the cover endorsement by Stephen King. It is a very strong endorsement; it is not on the back cover or in the first few pages preceding a table of contents; no, there it is on the front cover as it serves up a very strong endorsement of the talent of Kepnes. I kept this in mind as I read and found the endorsement, unlike many, to be completely appropriate even without the many references that Kepnes makes to King throughout the novel. By themselves, these references are clever and fun.
Execution Is Everything by Nick Warren surprised me with how clever it is with surprising twists that might leave the reader confused until page 144 (the last page). And it is free for purchase on Amazon as of the date of this review. It is free for purchase, NOT through Kindle Unlimited. At the end of the novel, Warren describes how and why he wrote this novel and mentions how he decided to follow up his characters with second and third novels that together have 110 000 additional words. Follow the provided link and get both of those books for free up to July 17, 2017. The link will download all three novels. After reading the first one, this was a deal I did not want to pass up.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT I get dangerously close to a spoiler here but the temptation was just too much and I believe it is vague and hidden. Readers will have to read the entire novel to figure out what I mean so I don’t consider it a spoiler.
A psychological thriller of 312 pages, The Method by Duncan Ralston is available through Kindle Unlimited for free reading. I nominated this book for selection through the Kindle Scout Program. The novel was selected so I received it at no cost and it appears on the Amazon site as a verified purchase. And then there is the remaining option of purchasing it for USD 2.99. It is a clever story with lots of twists and turns revealed through the muddled minds and thinking of the characters. The reader is invited to go along and try to keep up. It is a quick, one session reading experience with almost no sex BUT lots of physical violence. And readers can argue over the definitions of mental agony Frank and Linda encounter.
The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn is a character driven psychological work of fiction in which almost every character mentioned is either broken already or twisted en route to broken. The reader may finish the book hoping to never meet such a weird group in real life. It will probably be difficult for a reader to not have sympathy for almost all characters, even the deeply multi-flawed Harlow. Ahlborn has kept language very restrained to describe relationships that would make Freud sit up and take notice. Harlow’s methods of unfriending her “boys” can come across as gruesome but the descriptive language is inoffensive.
Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn is an almost light-hearted look at a deadly serious subject: the existence or non-existence of the soul. Fiona is a non-believer in just about everything. That includes the idea that she has a soul. So if someone wants to buy it, why not? In exchange for the thing she wants most in the world she must pay with a FAVOR. The favor is unspecified. When she will have to perform the favor is unspecified. No matter what the favor is, she must fulfill the requirements and do what is asked. Only then will she be permitted to die. True, going to hell is a negative but in return, she will get exactly what she asked for, no more, no less.