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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pig, by SBR Martin - A review

Lilith’s plight in life was plotted out for her from the day she was born. Her name alone, provided by her teen mother’s lesbian partner, evoked in her the ability to be a non-conformist in a man’s world. Whether by knowledge or nature Lilly embraced her heritage and took from men just as men took from women.
When Ben entered her life she learned too late what is was that made him so different and by the time the discovery was made it was too late. Martin’s novel of life takes us down the road of sex, death and abandonment, through great dark forests of abuse, lies and sweet revenge.
Pig starts in a funeral home where we are introduced to our protagonist Lilly as she welcomes visitors as her husband lies dead in the next room and she lets us, the reader, into the secret that no one else suspects, the accident was not ‘accidental’; she murdered Joe. From a writers standpoint the idea of a funeral home is a great concept to introduce life as it was. The idea of seeing people from the past and building the storyline that leads through them to the present is masterfully presented by Martin.
We don’t know at the moment how Joe died but through compelling side stories we learn what led to his untimely end. Domestic abuse is a subject that constantly raises its ugly head and Martin paints us a picture of how Lilly’s life was again plotted out for her, this time by her controlling husband and reminds us, as do many police blotters, why so many women stay in these types of relationships.
As the mourners at the funeral continue to flock into the room so the story unravels and the suspense builds. Evidently Lilly is clutching in her hand the one piece of damning evidence that will bring to the fore everything to show what really happened on that final ill-fated night.
This is a passionate voice from an emerging young writer that  presents us with a thrilling novel of contemporary fiction flavored with a little erotica and suspense that makes it hard to peg this tome in one particular genre and makes a compelling case for that cross-over genre style that is so pervasive in the modern novel. The final chapter presents a jaw-dropping twist that makes it all worthwhile.

The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave - A review

Spooky, empty, a shell of its former house the slaughterhouse rendered its last victim years ago until someone bought young Jessica here one last time. Cold, abandoned, and all alone was no way for a young girl to spend her final moments, bleeding out on the floor of the building that local jokesters christened the laughterhouse by removing the ‘s.’ In fact there was nothing funny about it at all.

Theodore Tate was there to witness the depravity of this sad story, one of his first cases. Fifteen years later, he finds himself back at the scene as a new killer stalks the streets of Christchurch. Four more bodies lie on the slab at the morgue until the police figure out there is a link to Jessica’s death fifteen years before. And the fifth victim—a psychiatrist who testified in the original trial—is missing, along with his three young daughters.

Battling his own demons and injuries Tate finds himself accepted back into the police ranks in order to bring this new killer to justice, and time is running out. If he doesn’t find them soon the doctor will have to choose the order in which his young girls die. With the voyeuristic press hard on his heels, his commanding officer suspended and the city’s psychics all offering an opinion Tate not only has to solve the crime but do it all in time to get to the nursing home where his wife, who has been in a coma for three years, has suddenly gained consciousness. With everything on the line, Tate will stop at nothing to find salvation, sanity and put the bad guy away for good.
Paul Cleave has made a believer out of me. Christchurch is a city I never want to visit. This dark, gripping thriller, the latest in the Tate saga, is as hard-boiled as it gets. The surprise ending suspends all belief. Like a TV series that ends its season on a cliffhanger, you won’t want to wait until next year. This will leave the reader clamoring for the next book in the series now!

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