I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A LIFE REMOVED by Jason Parent
Published by Red Adept Publishing on May 23, 2017
Genres: Crime/Serial Killer, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Psychological Horror, Thriller
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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.
A LIFE REMOVED, by Jason Parent, is an intense genre combination horror novel. It encompasses a crime/police procedural thriller with dark, sinister action, gore, and an added abundance of psychological horror. The end result is a novel that you feel you’ve “lived” through, so well defined are the characters and events that unfold. I’d wager that there is a character in this book that almost everyone could relate–in some part–to.
Aaron Pimental is a policeman with the “usual” duty of waiting to find speeding violations, going home to a girlfriend who’s grown increasingly distant, and friends that have “found God”, and now have seemingly much less time for Aaron. A sense of overwhelming depression is practically expected here.
“. . . just another long day in a long sad string of them. The definition of living . . . “
When some horrific ritualistic murders are discovered, Fall River detectives Bruce Marklin and his partner, Jocelyn Beaudette are called in. Despite their impressive records, this particular case isn’t giving up any leads easily.
While all of this is going on, Aaron’s life just keeps looking worse and worse from his perspective. As he turns to his best friends to get his mind on other things, all he finds there is increasing pressure to join their religious group–a notion that Aaron does not bother to entertain.
” . . . If God was real, he didn’t believe in Aaron . . . “
Each of the characters that Jason Parent presents us with are fully fleshed out. You feel that you actually know and understand each of them, rather than being bombarded with a string of forgettable faces. The problems and frustrations building in Aaron begin like cracks in a dam; widening and spreading out in every direction until you expect it to burst at any moment.
“. . . peace had become an illusion, a lie like all the others he’d tricked them into believing . . .”
If at any point you think you know where this novel is going, think again. There are enough twists, turns, secrets, and revelations to keep your emotions on edge throughout each and every page. In spite of the physical atrocities being committed, the horrendous torture and murders, I found that it was a “mental connection” with the characters that really made A LIFE REMOVED an exceptional, five-star novel, in my opinion. Their individual personalities gradually unfold over the course of the story, allowing you to get a sense of both the people you are seeing now, and who they were before these events.
“Only those you truly love can hurt you.”
As certain things come together (and others fall apart), we are taken on a tour of some of the most basic human motives/emotions, and given insight into some . . . NOT as commonplace or expected. Jason Parent is not afraid to breach those socially unacceptable thoughts and desires in order to show the reader what–or who–else we could be sharing our morning bus commute with.
“. . . Given the right circumstances, anyone could be a hero . . . or a killer . . . maybe the distinction was only a matter of perception . . . “
It’s his ability to give the readers these deeply flawed–and human–characters, and put them into a situation that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after, which makes this type of horror novel–one both physical and psychological–stand out among so many others.
Pick up a copy and see what you think. Be prepared to want to stay and read through the entire novel in one sitting . . .