(Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
After reading the pile of hogwash detailed in my last review, even an average book would have looked like a masterpiece in comparison. However, if you’d told me I would enjoy Jason Parent’s A Life Removed as much as I did, I’d have said you were confusing me with someone else.
Ritualistic murders, seemingly without motive, are plaguing the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Baeudette are on the case, tracking the killer. Assisting them is Officer Aaron Pimental, a man plagued by depression and a rocky personal life. As the investigation closes in on the killer, Pimental will find himself faced with the difficult choice of being the hero, or the villain.
The latest novel from Jason Parent (author of Wrathbone and Other Stories, People of the Sun), as well as the novel which popped my Jason Parent cherry, is a well-crafted and engaging thriller from start to finish. Parent succeeds where many writers fail in that he keeps you guessing and wanting more. The feeling of “Just one more chapter…” adequately applies to A Life Removed. It’s one of the few instances where I was constantly looking forward to returning to the book; where the ends of numerous chapters had me saying, “Oh shit,” as little somethings happened to ratchet the tension up.
But well-written and well-thought out are not all the novel has going for it. Parent populates A Life Removed with well-developed characters whom you either love or hate, and whom you are interested in seeing receive their just desserts. Unlike most horror/thriller novels where the characters are there simply as death fodder or to move the plot along, Parent deeply cares about the fate of his characters and wants readers to as well.
A Life Removed is, by far, one of the best books I’ve read this year. The perfect dovetailing of plot, characters, and tension shows the genre is capable of moving beyond the confines of no-talent hacks who couldn’t write their way out of a wet paper bag in the middle of a rainstorm. A Life Removed is currently available on the Kindle, and in paperback on http://redadeptpublishing.com Those looking for an excellent read should pick up a copy as soon as possible.