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review 2020-05-24 12:56
Accomplished Debut Novel
Killing A Dead Man - Siobhian R. Hodges

“Killing a Dead Man” is rightly billed as a ‘supernatural thriller’ and though the author, Siobhian R. Hodges is a new talent, I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel. Ostensibly targeted at the YA readership, it can be tricky when shedding light on some challenging themes not to oversteer, but in her subtle use of light and shade, the author successfully navigates a course, which balances the best and worst of human traits.

 

Written in the first person, the book adopts the perspective of Jordan, now aged fifteen, but weighed down by the loss of his twin brother, Danny, brutally murdered five years earlier. It was a defining moment in Jordan’s young life, steeped in guilt that he hadn’t prevented it and anger that the perpetrator had not been caught. The only consolation for Jordan is that Danny’s spirit had not moved on, but intermittently communicates with his brother. Jordan can feel Danny’s presence, rather than see him and though comforting, the connection was not without consequences. The boys’ bewildered parents had finally sought psychiatric help for their surviving son, meanwhile Jordan’s talking to an invisible brother was seized upon by teenage school bullies. The central character is isolated amid the struggles of his adolescent life, but not alone. Still, when Danny divulges he knows the identity of his killer, Jordan is compelled to launch across the country in search of revenge.

 

Whilst the premise of the subsequent adventure may play differently, depending on the reader’s beliefs concerning the afterlife, I found the author’s description of the twins’ ongoing relationship and the permeable nature of the boundary between this world and the next, both convincing and warming. Jordan and Danny are each held in a glutinous state of torment, which must surely be excised if they are to move on with their respective journeys, but it will take active forces in both realms if Jordan is to survive the ordeal.

 

Along the way, the reader is introduced to some intriguing characters, in particular, long-suffering taxi driver, Mr Butch, who is unwittingly drawn into Jordan’s odyssey and just as Danny attends the edge of the living world, so Jordan’s companion is a welcome escort for his foray into a murky, sometimes hostile adult environment.

 

The book teems with suspense, yet delivers the reader a very satisfying denouement. I look forward to placing my copy in the hands of a teenager, for whom I think the novel was intended, but with a hearty recommendation that it is well worth reading. So too perhaps for those young of heart!

 

Unusual praise too for the quality of the binding. I am not ordinarily moved to comment on such aesthetics, however, the paperback, apparently “printed in Great Britain by Amazon”, has a deliciously waxy feel to the touch, which simply made the book a genuine pleasure to hold. Ms Hodges is to be congratulated on such a rounded debut and I look forward with interest to her future titles.

 

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review 2019-10-04 04:23
Lineage
Lineage: A Supernatural Thriller - Joe Hart

This was really creepy, and it totally reminded me of why I inhaled a bunch of this author's work several years ago.

 

I'm going to copy what I put in an earlier status update here:

 

The prologue takes place during WWII, and is absolutely horrific in its own right. The first part deals with the MC as a child and it is equally horrific as both he and his mother suffer horrific abuse at the hands of his father. (22% done)

 

The remainder of the book takes place once Lance (our MC) is grown and has become a successful author of horror novels. Lance begins to suffer from writer's block as well as nightmares about his father. He becomes drawn to an old house beside Lake Superior, so he buys it, and begins writing again.

 

But...he is not alone in the house....

 

The book's prologue seems so out of place with the rest of the book, and so it was really interesting to find out how it all tied together. Truth be told, though, I'd worked out a lot of it on my own. There were still a few surprises in store, however.

 

 

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text 2019-10-04 04:08
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Lineage: A Supernatural Thriller - Joe Hart

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text 2019-10-03 04:37
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Lineage: A Supernatural Thriller - Joe Hart
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text 2019-10-02 04:31
Reading progress update: I've read 22%.
Lineage: A Supernatural Thriller - Joe Hart

I'm using this book for American Horror Story instead of the one I'd planned, because I started that one earlier, and it wasn't speaking to me. I found this one on my kindle and as I'd enjoyed other books by this author in the past, I decided to give it a go.

 

The prologue takes place during WWII, and is absolutely horrific in its own right. The first part deals with the MC as a child and it is equally horrific as both he and his mother suffer horrific abuse at the hands of his father.

 

The second part is where I'm stopping for tonight, but it takes place after the MC is a grown man.

 

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