Tag Archives: Psychological thriller

Tormented Slumber by Paul Deaver

Slumber

Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Literary Fiction

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 14

Veteran Author: Yes (Currently Active Duty)

Availability 

Kindle: YES   Kindle Unlimited

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Description:

War doesn’t always end after the last shot is fired. Returning home begins a whole new battle.

A veteran discovers that demons followed him home from the battlefield and threaten to destroy his life. The soldier regains hope when he finds unexpected allies to confront his worst nightmares.

Author:

“The author is active duty Army.”

My Two Cents:

I usually don’t bother reviewing shorts, but then again, few short stories ever roped me in like this one. This is surprisingly upbeat for a tale about wrestling with PTSD, and yes, has a happy ending. Well polished story too. If you’re a vet or want to understand them in 15 minutes, this is definitely worth the read.

Go ahead and help a soldier spread the message by snagging a copy for FREE with a 30 day free trial of Kindle Unlimited.

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Bonne Femme by AR Simmons

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Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Action and Adventure

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 458

Veteran Author: Yes, Army

Availability:

Kindle: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paperback: NO Audiobook: NO

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Description:

“In this thriller, obsession and fear lead to a seemingly insane act before a campaign of physical intimidation and psychological terror throws an intelligent but vulnerable woman into a nightmare world which may or may not be exactly as it appears. The triple climax will send shivers up your spine.”

Author:

“AR Simmons was born on Chicago’s north side, but grew up and lives in the eastern Missouri Ozarks. He attended a one-room school through the eighth grade, and walked a mile to get there. His family worked a subsistence farm on Ozark land cleared from the native forest by his grandfather.

He was a carpenter’s helper and factory worker until he entered the US Army at nineteen. A tour of duty took him to the Far East where he saw a world far different from his own. His military experience acquainted him with his country. The racial, ethnic, and cultural makeup of his squad changed forever his concept of “American.”

The GI Bill financed his entire college career. After declaring and rejecting majors in Business (lacked interest) and Art (fairly talented, but color blind), he settled on History, in which he obtained BA and MA degrees. Passing up a doctoral program (he was 27, married, and had no job), he took a public school teaching position “until something better came along.” He discovered, to his amazement, that the calling suited him.”

My Two Cents:

A dark, nutty adventure.

While this story is much longer than it needs to be, the author makes up for that with some of the craziest, yet realistic characters I’ve read in a while. The reader isn’t led to feel a particular way about anyone, just given a wealth of detail (maybe too much) and left to form their own conclusions. You really get wrapped up in their plotting and borderline insanity. Exotic locales, strong females, not-so-evil villains and irrational heroes; a lot of fun to read.

 

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Terror at Mirror Lake by Hank Kellner

Terror at Mirror Lake by Hank Kellner

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Genre: Psychological/Terror Thriller

Rating: **** Four Stars

Estimated word count: 65,000 words

Availability:

Kindle:  YES  NookYES SmashwordsYES Paperback: NO

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Author:

“Hank Kellner is a veteran of the Korean War and a retired associate professor of English currently based in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is the author of 125 Photos for English Composition Classes (J. Weston Walch, 1978); How to Be a Better Photographer (J. Weston Walch, 1978); Write What You See (Prufrock Press, 2010); and, with co-author Elizabeth Guy, Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing (Prufrock Press, 2013).”

Description:

“Terror lurks in the shadows of Mirror Lake, where secrets of sex, lies, and death are all patiently waiting to surface from its murky depths. The small town of Hamptonville seems the last place you would find illicit sex, drugs, blackmail, and murder. But that’s exactly what Bruce Orum, his girlfriend Cindy Garvey, and two married couples encounter when they meet Luke Downing, a psychopath who takes pleasure by inflicting pain on his victims. At Mirror Lake Downing takes the two married couples prisoner and plans to torture and humiliate them before killing them. But he does not know that Sheriff Jeff Parker and his partner Molly Hutchison are on his trail and determined to stop him. From page one all the way to the breathtaking ending, you will find yourself on pins and needles waiting to see what happens next.

Terror at Mirror Lake is more than just another psychological thriller. In its pages the author describes the causes of Luke Downing’s evil nature, his relationships with others, and the relationships between the two married couples he plans to torment and kill.”

My Two Cents:

Psychological thrillers aren’t usually my thing, but I have to say this was well done. The author has a few fun and thought-provoking twists on the terror genre that, if not completely unique, are still rarely seen. The antagonist isn’t really the crazy killer, he’s more of a plot device to ramp up the tension. The real scourge in this tale are the main characters. Their deep-rooted shame, guilt and paranoia keep making things worse at every turn.

My only complaint is that the two most interesting characters aren’t even introduced until about 60% through the story. You’ve spent most of the tale wallowing in the (whiny) heads of the four main characters, only to meet the most complex and exciting actors just as the action is approaching a climax!

Still, this is a good read. While it starts dark and tragic, there truly is a happy ending. Despite the jacket’s description, there is no gratuitous sex or violence. What little you’ll find is handled surprisingly tastefully and actually relevant to the plot.

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