If you are a fan of dark thrillers, and you like to bag yourself a great collection of stories, then you are probably going to like this. news. The very twisted Mr Mark Tilbury has pulled together two collections of his supernatural and thriller tales into two very handy box sets which are both released tomorrow. I have read a good few of the author’s books and he really does take readers to the edge – you have been warned!
His Supernatural Box Set contains three of his creepiest reads – The Abattoir of Dreams, The Liar’s Promise and The Key To Death’s Door.
About the Book
The Abattoir Of Dreams
How do you prove your innocence when you can’t remember the past?Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.Now an adult, Michael wakes up from a coma in hospital suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison. With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in a hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand. But then strange things start to happen, and his childhood comes back to haunt him with a vengeance.Will Michael ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?And why is DI Carver so keen to make him suffer?The Abattoir of Dreams is a bittersweet story of murder, innocence and abuse.
Praise for, The Abattoir of Dreams:
‘It’ll horrify you, upset you, and hopefully open your eyes – at times the horror (of a very human kind) is relentless, but then again, perhaps it is in reality too, although we might like to think otherwise. It’s a book that once read cannot be forgotten, it’s a triumph for Tilbury and cements the fact that in reading his books, I’m on a journey with a very talented author.’
5* from best-seller supernatural thriller author, Shani Struthers.
‘Mark Tilbury has taken on a very dark and almost taboo subject and deftly created a story that deals with these issues sensitively and with compassion and the end result is a book that I honestly can’t recommend highly enough.’
5* from, The Haphazardous Hippo.
The Liar’s Promise
How does a mother protect her child from unseen evil?During a visit to a local theatre, four-year-old Chloe Hollis becomes hysterical. But her mother, Mel, doesn’t realise this is just the beginning of the nightmare. In the coming weeks, Chloe talks of The Tall Man – of death.At her wits end, Mel confides in Charles Honeywell, the headmaster at the school where she works. But what Mel doesn’t realise is that Honeywell is linked to what is happening to her daughter.Will Mel learn the terrible truth? And can she overcome her own tragic past and save her daughter before it’s too late?The Liar’s Promise is a story of past lives and future torment.
Praise for The Liar’s Promise:
‘Mark Tilbury is one seriously twisted author and I can not get enough of it! Dark and compelling, The Liar’s Promise is an intense and gripping read that readers will be unable to tear themselves away from.’
5* from By The Letter Book Reviews.
‘I am a massive fan of horror and I loved the fact that this story has that element about it with it being a supernatural thriller. But this book is more than just that. It is one very well crafted story full of twists and turns and moments that are actually rather warped. There is nothing not to like.’
5* from, Baker’s Not So Secret Blog.
The Key To Death’s Door
Would you risk your life to get justice? Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night in a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After recovering from his near-death experience, Lee realises he’s part of two lives intrinsically linked by the despicable actions of one man.Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice. Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future? The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.
Praise for The Key To Death’s Door
‘Sometimes books need to examine the worst of people to explore just what drives us at our lowest moments. The Key to Death’s Door is about retribution, revenge and justice but it’s also about trust and love. This was the first book I’ve read by Mark Tilbury – it won’t be the last.’
5* from, Hair Past a Freckle
‘The writing is exquisite, creating a whole bystander experience of being there. This is an absolute cracking story, very graphic, extremely brutal and utterly gut wrenching. If you have a problem with violence in stories it isn’t for you. This though is Mark Tilbury at his best, he is better than any sugar rush and it stays much longer!’
5* from, Books From Dusk Till Dawn.
The Thriller Box Set contains three of Mark Tilbury’s twisted thrillers, The Last One To See Her, A Prayer For The Broken and Song of the Psychopath.
The Last One To See Her
He says he is innocent…so why did he lie? Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime. Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression. Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime? The Last One To See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.
Praise for, The Last One To See Her:
‘I am a great fan of Twisted Tilbury and he does not disappoint. His super-hero talent (depending on what author cloak he happens to be writing in) is to inject new life into what can sometimes be an overpopulated genre, warranting a shiny five-star super-hero badge from me.’
5* from best-selling author, Jane E. James.
‘The Last One To See Her’ is superbly written but then I think that to be true of Mark’s work in general. He has one of those writing styles that is easy to take to and easy to get along with.’
5* from, Ginger Book Geek.
My thoughts on The Last One To See Her:
These books are tinged with darkness and whilst this is not the blackest of reads, it is still a story that will get under your skin. This is the story or poor Jodie Willis, an eleven year old girl who goes missing while running an errand for her mother, and of Mathew Hillock, the young man who was one of the last people to see her, and the one accused of being responsible for her disappearance. The story opens in dramatic fashion, and from there on in it is a blend of emotion, mystery and chills as we traverse the world of Mathew and those around him as they strive to find out what happened to poor Jodie.
I have read a number of Mark Tilbury’s books and what they all have in common, aside from a story which grips you very quickly and keeps you glued to the page, is the fact they have have very strong and very diverse characters, In this book, the main protagonist is Mathew, a young man with mental health and developmental issues. It is clear from the outset that there is something different about Mathew, something that makes him a natural suspect and although we don’t know what or why to being with, the more we read, the more we learn. Mark Tilbury has developed him in a very sympathetic and understanding way, whilst also highlighting the many prejudices that someone with Mathew’s condition have to face.
Thankfully, although the implications of what happens to Jodie are very clear, they are kept largely off the page. There are scenes which may still upset people, particularly as Mathew battles with his own problems, but nothing is dealt with in a gratuitous way. There are links back into another of the author’s novels, and it makes me very glad I don’t live in a neighbourhood like this one. At least … I don’t think I do …
A Prayer For The Broken
They promised the boy he’d be safe – they lied!When eleven-year-old John McCormack’s mother is murdered, he is placed in the care of Pastor Ian Stone and his family. Clearwater House is a far cry from the squalid flats he’s been used to, but John soon learns that Pastor Stone’s perverted form of religion is anything but compassionate. As Stone attempts to purify John’s soul of “dangerous levels of toxicity”, it becomes increasingly clear he’s at the mercy of a madman. Who can John talk to when no one wants to listen? Who can he trust when all he knows is betrayal? A Prayer for the Broken is the story of one child’s desperate fight to escape a sadistic killer who has complete control over him. The perfect book for fans of Chris Carter and M W Craven.
Praise for, A Prayer For The Broken:
‘It’s a powerful read with richly written characters that will touch you and stay with you long after you’ve finished it. There is evil lurking in these pages but it’s also a tale of friendship, resilience and determination.’
5* from, Suze Reviews.
‘I won’t go into any details, no spoilers, but this book is already at number one in my top ten books for 2021. It’s going to take a real corker to knock it from that spot. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Mark Tilbury, you’ve done it again. A MASSIVE five stars from me.’
5* from best-selling author, Anita Waller.
My thoughts about A Prayer For the Broken:
You don’t pick up a Mark Tilbury book because you are looking for a warm and fuzzy read and I think that this is especially true of his latest offering, A Prayer for the Broken. This time around we are seeing the world through the eyes of John McCormack although the tale is, in part, told with the voice of an adult John, looking back at the very dark and troubled times he lived through as a child when, following the murder of his mother, he is sent to live at Clearwater House with Pastor Ian Stone, his wife and son, and their other adopted child, Brendan. But this is no safe haven for poor young John, and Stone is a man who takes religious devotion to a whole new , truly sadistic, level.
If you have read any of the author’s other books, you will know that he is not one to spare the pain of his characters. Now the very worst of the violence in this book stays off the page, but the inference is clear and the scenes are graphic enough to ensure that you will be left grimacing and with an intense hatred for the perpetrators. It is not always about graphic violence against the children though, sometimes the very act of denying food or proper bedding can be as cruel and spirit breaking as actual physical abuse. The whole atmosphere that surrounds the house is oppressive, as though a benevolent spirit has taken hold, and the more we learn of the character’s past, the more you realise this may not be far from the truth. Violence begets violence – nurture, or lack thereof in this instance, over nature – but it certainly doesn’t excuse what is happening. It is important to note that the book is set a few years back though, so that lack of care or attention by social services does, all too sadly, ring true.
Dark, devious, and full of real threat, intensity and tension, it’s another classic Mark Tilbury book.
Song Of The Psychopath
A year after going missing from home, Tommy Scarlett is found unconscious in an isolated country road. He has a fractured skull, broken wrist, and numerous other injuries. Recovering in hospital, Tommy has no recollection of the past. He doesn’t even recognize his own family.
After returning home, Tommy suffers severe headaches and acute depression. Desperate to help him, his father puts him into the care of a private therapist. But Tommy soon learns his troubles are far from over.
As the past is slowly unlocked, it becomes increasingly clear that Tommy has suffered an ordeal so horrendous it beggars belief. And those responsible are determined to silence him by any means possible.
Can Tommy find out what really happened to him and bring those responsible to justice?
Or will the past finally catch up with him and finish him off for good?
Praise for, Song Of The Psychopath:
‘To say I ‘enjoyed’ this book wouldn’t be the right term to use this time due to the central theme of the story. I rather enjoyed the thrill of the ride, the feelings, the stimuli, the sensations provoked by this book, the goose bumps erupting on my skin. It was like watching a horror movie from behind the safety of a cushion with your feet tucked well away in case there’s a monster under the bed.’
5* from, Relax and Read Reviews.
‘Some readers have compared the authors’ writing to Stephen King, personally I think even King would be hard pushed to come up with plots as dark and as twisted as Mark Tilbury’s. Highly recommended.’
5* from, The Book Review Cafe.
My thoughts on Song Of The Psychopath:
If you are looking for warm and fuzzy, or even a light crime thriller with a little bit of a twist, then walk away. Yes you will get a twist from this book, immediately followed by -ed. They don’t call him Twisted Tilbury for nothing. This book has a really dark heart, but don’t despair as there is perhaps a touch of hope at the end of the story too. The author isn’t quote that cruel to his characters.
This is a story of Tommy, a young boy who is discovered in a country road, suffering from very severe injuries. Tommy has been missing for a year but, due to his injuries and the knock to his brain, he cannot remember where he has been or how he came by so many of the injuries to his body that are not so easily explained. As a reader we are kept shielded to a degree from the depravity of the people who took and abused Tommy, in as much as the story is told through conversation or memory as opposed to being necessarily present as the abuse takes place. We are never in any doubt as to the nature of the abuse though and so if this is a subject that you find uncomfortable or triggering then you may not want to read as this is not an easy subject to digest or accept at all.
As I say, this is a very dark and twisted thriller and some may find it a difficult read for that very reason. Perhaps it is the very plausible nature of the abuse that makes this a such difficult read, almost amplified by point of view of Tommy as he struggles to not only regain his memories, but also to deal with the abuse that takes him to a very, very dark place psychologically. Definitely one of the darkest books for this author yet.
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