Genre: Thriller / Horror
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: May 2017
REVIEWED BY NEV
Bit weird this one. A Life Removed wasn’t exactly sent to Confessions of a Reviewer for a review. I was looking after the publicity tour for this one but with it being a Jason Parent book, I couldn’t not read it, right? So even though there may be some people who think that I do this for everyone I work for as a favour – I don’t. If you don’t believe that and think this will be a biased review then think again. Ask anyone who knows me and knows how I review, and they will tell you that even if I was reviewing for The Queen, or worse than that, my mum – you get no favours from me.
I was looking forward to this one though because it is being compared to Seeing Evil which is an earlier book from Jason that I absolutely loved. I was hoping for much more of the same with this one.
This is what I thought.
Aaron Pimental is not having a good life. He is a cop that doesn’t get to do anything exciting and his life seems to be falling apart. His girlfriend is getting decidedly cold with him and his best friend is making his peace with God. Where did it all go wrong.
A new killer is on the loose in town. Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette are the detectives in charge of the brutal case. They have a lot of experience but nothing that seems to be helping them with this one.
When Aaron gets drawn into the case, it causes friction with Marklin. Most of all, it causes pain for Aaron. He must decide which side of the law he needs to stay on and who to stay faithful to. Before it is too late for everyone.
Characters wise in this one, there are plenty. Our main ones to note would be Aaron for starters. He is a young lad who has had his troubles over the years but all he wants now is to be settled in his job and with his girlfriend, Ari. His job is really going nowhere and neither is his life, but it is his none the less. Marklin and Beaudette couldn’t be more different. Marklin is a seasoned veteran of the job who does everything by the book and has a reputation as being the best. Beaudette is learning the job. Many feel sorry for her working with Marklin but she loves it. She thinks she will learn all she needs to know from him.
On the evil side of things, we have Doug and his wife Kelly who team up with Carter Wainwright. Carter is the perceived leader of this group and his intentions are purely evil, even though he would have you believe it is in the name of God.
There are a host of others than flit in and out of the story. They all play their part but I only have so many words for a review.
The plot is a lot more difficult to describe to you without giving the story away. There are a bunch of crazed serial killers on the loose using questionable reasons for committing their crimes and it is down to Marklin and Beaudette to catch them. I think that is the easiest way to put it without spoiling things.
Now, how would I fit this book into a genre? Easy really. I wouldn’t dare to try and put it into one category. I don’t think that is wise or fair.
There are a lot of people who will class this as a thriller or a police procedural because it is, well, following police trying to solve a crime. For me though it was a mixture of everything. Yes, there were thrills a plenty. Yes, there were police all over the place. But there was also plenty of, what I may call, soft horror? Is that such a thing? Have I just started a new genre?
The reason I call it soft horror is that because it was gruesome and brutal and bloody and constant. Many think that is what makes a horror story. I don’t. Which is why I am so glad that Mr Parent has not promoted this as a horror story because it isn’t outright horror.
If you have read Seeing Evil then this is along the same street. It doesn’t have the same supernatural elements. It crosses a lot more lines than Seeing Evil ever did. A lot of people may call this one extreme in parts due to the bloody nature of the story. I wouldn’t. I have read books much more extreme than this. People who know me, know I just close those without finishing them, so the fact I finished this says it all really.
Jason Parent tells a very complex story with this one and makes it all tie together beautifully to make a well thought out and very well paced book. There are twists and turns galore that will keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. Some parts should not be read whilst eating. Some parts should not be read if you have eaten within three days.
When you read it though, take heed of all the little extras in the story. There are a lot of elements to this one that people would not dare to include in stories. I am not going to tell you what they are but I would love to have a conversation with you when you finish the book to see how you thought Mr Parent handled them in the book.
Some subjects are taboo. Some are so sensitive no one wants to talk about them even though they should. In some ways, I found it quite depressing but at the same time, I was pleased that someone had the balls to include the issues that affect so many of us on a day to day basis, in a story. Maybe this will make other people realise just how tough some people have it.
I have a negative though, and this negative is the reason for me not giving the book full marks. The problem I am having with this negative? I have no idea what it is. There was just something missing for me throughout the whole book. I wasn’t able to put my finger on it when I was reading it, and so far, I haven’t been able to put finger on it since I finished it. If it comes to me, I will add it to my review. Maybe some of the issues included in it were just too close for comfort for me.
To summarise: Jason Parent is a master storyteller. From the first word, you will be lost in the story. Just remember this: it’s make believe. Or is it?
☆☆☆☆ top notch again from Mr Parent.
☆☆☆☆ still can’t put my finger on it.
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Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.
Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.
If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS JASON PARENT
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in on knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.
And for more about Jason, visit his site or find him on social media: