It’s my great pleasure to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for The Revelation Room by Mark Tilbury. Before I share my review with you, here are the all important booky bits.
The Official Book Blurb
Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.
As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.
The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.
Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.
Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?
The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers.
Oh where to start with this book. It was such a pleasant surprise. Well… pleasant may not be exactly the word, but by heck I enjoyed this. Full of a wonderful mixture of dark humour and mystery, and a very twisted adversary in Father Edward Ebb, this book really hit the spot in terms of being exactly the kind of book I love to read.
We open on Private Investigator Geoff Whittle who manages to do a very poor impersonation of a covert surveillance operation on the cult known as The Sons and Daughters of Salvation when he is caught and taken captive. Once imprisoned in the commune Geoff is subjected to all manner of torture in order to get him to confess his one true sin – that he is in league with the Devil. When he reaches out to his son to help him, Ben already thinks it is too late for his father. Encouraged by the local Pastor and assisted by his friend Maddie, Ben infiltrates the cult and what ensues is a sometimes harrowing, often grimace worthy tale of one man’s rapid descent into madness and the impact it has on those around him.
Now there are scenes in this book which will likely make you wince – they certainly did me. The methods of torture that Ebb uses are crude but effective. Hat pins in the soles of the feet, ‘holy water’ which is anything but… all designed to cause great pain and highlight the devil within the person being tortured. Of course in Ebb’s mind, the end justifies the means and he is exposing true evil. While the guy is clearly nutty as a fruitcake, a part of him truly believes this. What the cause of the neurosis is… well it is intimated but perhaps not fully explained but certainly this is one formidable man who somehow has convinced a group of impressionable people to hang on his every word and to carry out some very dark acts.
The tension in this book ebbs and flows with the story itself. The scenes in which Ebb tries to get Geoff to confess who he is are fraught and packed with tension. And when Ben and Maddie enter the commune you feel the atmosphere in the story change. Maddie comes painfully close to being abused, and Ben is subjected to some pretty extreme acts of violence, none of which are graphically described but you can still sense the pain. However, to counter this there are also some very darkly comedic moments. Ebb’s obsession with his dead mother’s pink wig and sunglasses and his constant reference to people setting out to ‘shame the shovel’ really did make me chuckle. I have been assured that this is not meant as a euphemism, and if you read the book you will understand what this actually refers to, but it did make me titter nonetheless. I know. I’m a child.
I loved the pairing of Maddie and Ben. I say it this way because of the two, Maddie has the stronger character. Ben is lovable but he is definitely out of his depth, kind of pessimistic and constantly expecting the worst, while Maddie has the infectious enthusiasm which spurs them both on. They are kind of a sweet pairing and it makes this feel almost like a strange hybrid of cosy crime and dark brooding mystery. But they are a couple that works and I can’t wait to read what comes next.
A very enjoyable, darkly chucklesome 5 stars from me.
My thanks to the author and publishers Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of The Revelation Room for review. My thanks also to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part in the tour. The book is available now from the following links:
About the Author
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, published, and The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused re-launched, by Bloodhound Books.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.
You can follow Mark at the following links.
Make sure to check out the other fab blogs on the tour.