Tag Archives: Jeffrey J. Mariotte

Empty Rooms By Jeffrey J. Mariotte

empty-rooms-cover_small

Richie Krebbs is an ex-cop, a walking encyclopedia of crime and criminals who chafes at bureaucracy. Frank Robey quit the FBI and joined the Detroit PD, obsessed with the case of a missing child and unwilling to leave the city before she was found. When Richie unearths a possible clue in one of Detroit’s many abandoned homes, it puts him on a collision course with Frank-and with depths of depravity that neither man could have imagined.

I have to give this book Five Stars…..because any book that’s not in my usual genre, is fraught with trigger issues for me, and still makes me devour it in big, gulping chunks must be a helluva book.

I’m a mother and a teacher, so I have huge issues with child molesters and books that deal with child molesters. Forget vampires and werewolves and other things that go bump in the night — any more, it’s the depravity people show towards the most innocent of us that gets me screaming in the night.  However, when Jeffrey Mariotte offered up an ARC of this book to me, I decided to go ahead and read it for him for review.  Since this is a trigger issue for me, I checked how many chapters there were and decided to read about 8 chapters a day.  It would take me about a week to read it that way, but it would also give me time to find a “happy” book to balance out the intensity.

Night One, I made it through the 8 chapters with no problem.  Still getting the story set up and getting to know the characters.  Missed the next night because of Life, so the following night, I decided to double up, so I wouldn’t mess up the Schedule.  Stopped at an intense part and was tempted to go on, but…. no, Must.  Stick.  To.  The.  Schedule.  Missed the following night (again, Life!), so the next day, determined to only read 16 chapters, I ended up reading…. 32, thus finishing the book.  So much for the Almighty Schedule.

So, what made me devour the book?  It has all the elements of a thriller that I love–suspense, elements that come together in ways that you don’t expect, characters with issues themselves and how they work through them.  It’s an intense novel, tautly written.  Bad things happen, but there’s always a thread of redemption woven through.

The child molestation aspect of this story is handled with sensitivity–no gratuitous depictions, although there is no doubt in your mind what probably goes on.  I also like how Detroit becomes as much a character as Richie or Frank.  Detroit may be in its death throes, but I can’t help but hope that like the legendary phoenix, it, too, will rise from it’s ashes better than it was before (and I learned something new….who knew that there were actual salt mines under the city?  Really, there are!)

Frank Robey and Richie “Maynard” Krebbs work well together.  Frank is a more “old school” detective, who doesn’t get along with his partner (I’d love to see more of that dynamic), and Richie is a former Detroit PD officer who is more interested in the psychology of the criminal mind.  Also in the mix are Richie’s wife, Wendy and Frank’s girlfriend, Marcia.  Both women are frustrated by their men, but recognize that their obsession with this case (more intellectually for Richie, and more personally for Frank–at least at first), is part of who they are.

Upshot of this:  if Jeffrey Mariotte writes another “Robey and Krebbs Casefiles,” you can be sure I’ll be first in line to get my copy.  Yeah, it’s good enough to make me jump genres and dwell in the dark shadows of the human psyche.


Best Books of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it seemed fitting to look back over the past year and share our favourite reads. There are some duplicates, and there are quite a few we didn’t review… but read on, and share your thoughts!

Meagan’s (ARamone):

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe

What if

What If? is a good read for scientifically-minded and just plain curious people alike. With often high-end science being explained in a down-to-earth, accessible way, this book is going to make you laugh while also making you think.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle, by Terry Pratchett

Dragons

A collection of Pratchett’s earliest work, written and published in his teenaged years, Dragons at Crumbling Castle gives us a look into the mind of a young but already skilled author. A true delight for all Pratchett fans, and a must-have for fans of his work.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

slowregr

This book focuses on Auri, one of the most relatable characters in The Kingkiller Chronicles, and takes us through a typical week of hers. Rothfuss’ writing makes her odd logic and justifications seem perfectly normal, making this book a delightful read for any fan of the books.

Continue reading


Season of the Wolf by Jeffrey J. Mariotte : Review

When Alex Converse — rich, aspiring film-maker — arrives in Silver Gap, Colorado to make an environmentally themed documentary, he and his team get more than they bargained for when wolves start attacking; people are dying and women are disappearing.

Season of the Wolf  tells the tale of Man versus Nature, and a town’s struggle for survival when nature decides to fight back. Told through the many perspectives of the townsfolk, readers are given a thoroughly fleshed-out picture of the events happening in Silver Gap, from murders and kidnapping, to the epic struggle to reclaim their lives, their town and their forest from an impossible pack of wolves which have a hunger for human flesh.

I did have a bit of difficulty, and it was confusing at times to try and keep track of who’s who, where they fit into the story due to the frequent POV changes. In spite of this, the story was interesting and engaging. Each character was dynamic and stood on their own, with realistic personalities and reacting in ways fitting to their situation.

Season of the Wolf is a very gory story, at times excessively so. It seemed to me that it rarely went more than a few pages without someone being brutally killed, or having a scene of grisly death and random body parts scattered haphazardly. This is something that I felt could have been toned down a few notches, but it is well-written, and does carries out consistently, setting an oppressive mood for the story — one of bleak, dark dismay. However, it’s both fast-paced and action packed; with shreds of light and moments of happiness which seem to illuminate the darkness. Season of the Wolf is full of twists that will surprise readers time and time again. With his rich use of description, Mariotte has created a story which will grab the attention of readers and will have them hooked until the very last page; hoping for the survival of characters that they will come to love, even when the odds are against them.

One thing I loved about Season of the Wolf, is well… the wolves. I’ve always loved wolves, and it’s sad that they’re hunted to the level that they’re no longer found in many of their native habitats. Global climate change, hunting, and the spread of urbanization has eradicated so many different species not just of wolves, but we’ve brought the population of wolves and other wildlife to levels of near-extinction. They’re all vital parts to ecosystems around the world, and not to mention, they are beautiful creatures, and they have every right to this world as we do. As a whole, we’ve become very good at destroying the habitats and lives of animals that we thought to be in the way of our own growth as a species. A message I feel that Mariotte gets across in Season of the Wolf and one that I agree with, is that we need to find a balance, and work for the preservation of life here on Earth. It’s the only planet we have, and we have to share it with each other, and with nature for our continued survival. (Mariotte shares this sentiment about wolves and says so much more elegantly than I do in his blog post,  Save the Wolves.)

Season of the Wolf is a quick read, but it’s one that imparts an important message about the delicate balance between our actions and nature. Mariotte turns the tables, and shows us what it’s like to be among the hunted, not one of the hunters — having our safe havens invaded and taken away, friends and family killed and shown no mercy.  It’s a great read, and while it doesn’t fit into my usual genre, I believe that any reader, whether they enjoy mystery, thrillers, fantasy or just fiction in general will find something in Season of the Wolf that will draw them in.

Season of the Wolf by Jeffrey J. Mariotte will be released February 26th 2013 by DarkFuse.

*Update: Season of the Wolf has been released early, and is now available from Amazon in paperback and kindle formats.*

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 


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