Today it’s my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Abel’s Revenge. My thanks to Caroline Vincent and Ross Greenwood for inviting me to join the tour and to the author for providing an advance copy of the book for review. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book in a moment after we’ve taken a look at what it’s all about.
About the Book
This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.
This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.
An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.
Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?
Who will live and who will die?
I am in a bit of a bind here folks. I honestly do not know how to describe this book, not in terms of genre anyway. Let me start by saying this however – it is really, really good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just don’t know quite how to classify it for my menus on the blog. This is a serial killer book with a difference. If you are looking for bloody thirsty kills on every page, a veritable work of slasher fiction or rampage then look elsewhere. This book does feature murders and revenge attacks on the poor folk of London but then at its heart it is also a study in relationship woes and how to overcome them. I found this book as funny as it is dramatic and as relatable as it is a work of pure fiction. I hope.
Dan and Olivia are a couple who are suffering the strain of a relationship which started rather quickly via a holiday romance and soon became a family of four, their children demanding all their time and attention, especially son Charles (Chucky) who seems to be the spawn of Satan and incapable of mastering toilet training in its entirety. They have allowed their romance to suffer, Olivia feeling she has to shoulder all the burden of the house and ‘three children’ and Dan feeling the pressure of having to work a job he hates in order to keep the family afloat. It is probably something a lot of people can relate to when they have found themselves in the rut of a relationship which possibly started on a whim and advanced very quickly.
Add into the mix the fact that the whole of London is in the thrall of a vicious serial killer who seems to attack indiscriminately and whose motives and patterns are not clear, and you are set with a very heady mix of a book. The attacks are often but not always violent, some resulting in death, some in just fear but often fear is enough. With a wave of violence soon sweeping the city, it is hard for police to know which attacks are the work of the man who calls himself Abel and which are by people who are taking advantage of the situation. What they do know is that no-one feels safe, even in their own homes.
What I loved about this book is the fact that it is not an all serious, dark in tone killing spree. While the murders are made clear, they are not graphically described, the book really isn’t about that. There is a decidedly humorous undertone to the whole book, although the scenes in which Abel acts are often that little bit darker than some of the others. He is one sick puppy. Acid attacks, decapitations – if they aren’t your cup of tea, go elsewhere.
The story is told from three points of view – Dan, Olivia and the eponymous Abel, although we never quite find out who Abel is, at least not until the end, or why he seeks to carry out such atrocities in the city. I really enjoyed the way in which the author developed the characters, torturing Dan to the point of exhaustion, pushing Olivia to drastic action and amusing Abel with the copycat vigilantes across London. There were times I wanted to slap him (Dan, not Abel) and tell him to get a grip, but essentially, despite his flaws (and he has many) he is a good guy in a difficult situation. A lot of his own making but still …
Then you have the supporting characters – Olivia’s boss, Beau, the oddball postman ‘Pete’, the mad Milkman, and creepy next door neighbour Mike. They are brilliantly drawn characters, all adding to the story in their own way, both grating and proving to be completely opposite to Dan in both style and personality. None really appealed to me, but especially not Beau or Mike. I much preferred Dan’s down to earth honesty than the flashy and oblivious nature of the rivals for Olivia’s attention.
The pacing of this book is about perfect. Not too fast or busy, but just enough to keep the reader gripped, as much to see what howlers Dan manages next as to see what steps of vengeance Abel may reap upon the city. He (Dan) does redeem himself eventually, you will need to read to see how, but he has a lot of ground to make up, believe me. There is plenty of intrigue, plenty of suspense to keep you guessing, even a little question mark hovering over the identity of Abel with a plethora of oddball characters to choose from.
If you want a book that’s full of humorous moments, a mad serial killer with a mysterious agenda and a good old nosy into a truly dysfunctional relationship, then Abel’s Revenge is a great place to start. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more from author Ross Greenwood.
Abel’s Revenge is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.
Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”
Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.
Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.
Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com
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