Tag Archives: Dark

Portraits of the Dead #BookReview

  • Title: Portraits of the DeadPortraits of the Dead: A gripping serial killer thriller by [Nicholl, John]
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

I love reading books where you find yourself in the minds of the characters, whether they are the protagonist or the antagonist. So far, John Nicholl’s first two novels do just that, and now Portraits of the Dead is no exception.

When the story opens, we witness the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Emma. She’s taken to a place where time has no meaning and she has only the voice of her captor to keep her company. Emma’s captor sees everything that she does. He rejoices in her pain, her fears. He makes her do certain things that delight him. To her, his name is Master. To him, Emma’s new name is Venus 6.

Emma wants to give up and die so that her misery is over with, however, her will to survive is too strong to allow her. Her captor has already eliminated five girls that look like Emma and wonders if she is finally the one he’s been searching for.

Portraits of the Dead is a dark psychological thriller that throws twists and turns at you at every corner. The characters are very well-rounded and believable in what they do and how they speak. The interactions the main detectives (Grav and Rankin) had with their suspects or witnesses were fun and entertaining to read. It was easy to imagine watching their exchanges rather than simply reading, which is one quality I require in a great book.

My only issue would be that the point of view would switch in a single paragraph, which at times threw me off; however, the storytelling was tight, so I paid little attention to the POV shifts as I moved through the plot line.

The ending has a twist that left my jaw clenched and my eyes raced across each line to see what would happen next…that’s as far as I am willing to go without giving anything away. I could not put this book down. it was fast-paced, riveting, dark, creepy, tense. Everything I love in a book.

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading several serial killer thrillers as a kind of research for my own work in progress, and I have to say that Portraits of the Dead is one of my favorites. As always, I look forward to more of Mr. Nicholls’ brilliant writing and recommend him for fans of psychological thrillers that grips you with no intention of letting go.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA. Portraits of the dead, a gripping serial killer thriller, is available for pre-order from the 14, August 2016, with a 1st of September release date.

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When Evil Calls Your Name #BookReview

  • Title:  When Evil Calls Your NameWhen evil calls your name: A gripping dark psychological suspense thriller (Dr David Galbraith Book 2) by [Nicholl, John]
  • Author: John Nicholl
  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2015
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191ODNJK
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

Synopsis

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counselor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder. Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.

Review

When Evil Calls Your Name is the second book of Dr. David Galbraith., and the title fits perfectly for the novel. The story is told by Galbraith’s wife, Cynthia, as she spends the remainder of her life in prison. Her prison counselor had suggested that she write a personal journal in order to help come to term with her past and future, and she does so in such gripping detail, it makes you really feel for her.

It’s a much easier read than its predecessor, White is the Coldest Colour. The storyline is smooth and free of plot holes. John Nicholl does, as he did in his debut novel, a wonderful job at weaving the story together. When Evil Calls Your Name is set at a very slow pace. We look into Cynthia’s  life as she was an innocent young girl, suffering from losses and pain. It only makes sense–and delving into Cynthia’s mind, we see exactly how it’s effective–that she was brainwashed and verbally abused. And that’s what makes this thriller scary. Looking on the outside, it’s not so easy to see why a young woman can be so easily manipulated  and molded to fit the image of an evil man. Only someone who has lived it and seen it can relate. As a former police officer and child protective services worker, Mr. Nicholl does well in explaining how it could be done.

After the halfway mark, when we begin learning about Cynthia’s relationship with Galbraith, I felt sorry for her having to go through what she went through. She was understandably a weak-minded young woman, who fell to the charms of a man she believed to be caring. It’s writing such as this that makes me love to read. It takes a natural writer to be able to grab your psyche the way Mr. Nicholl does.

I highly recommend reading White is the Coldest Colour first. It’s not easy to read, but still, wonderful story telling, and highly intelligent. I believe the first book is essential to truly appreciate the second. I can’t wait to find out what new novels Mr. Nicholl has in store for us next.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA.

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White is the Coldest Colour #BookReview

 

  • File Size: 728 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2015
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VR8X45W
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

From the author:
White is the coldest colour is entirely fictional, but draws on my experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer. During my career I was faced with case after case that left me incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims. The book reflects that reality.

The story is set in 1992, a more naïve time when many found it extremely difficult to believe that a significant number of adults posed a serious risk to children.

The book includes content that some readers may find upsetting from the start.

It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Review:
White is the Coldest Colour is a gripping, disturbing narrative of child abuse. Dr. Galbraith is a child predator and a character that appear so real within the pages of the story, it’s terrifying. The events take place in the early nineties, where, in the author’s words, many find it difficult to believe that children could be put at risk of adults.

A story such as this is one that can both make you want to throw the book across the room, yet can’t let you go. The scenes are welded beautifully, each as strong as the next. John Nicholl terrifyingly describes what’s happening in such vivid detail, it tugs at your heartstrings. The first chapter alone is one that would make you want to put the book down because you’re in the mind of a pedophile. However, it’s an essential part of the story, one that must be included. The next few chapters show the truth of how a sexual predator appears to the general public.

The characters, primary and secondary, stood out and you really feel for them. You get mad at them, but you can’t help but love them. The only one you don’t love are the ones doing the bad things, but they blossomed in the writing.

While reading novels based on child abuse is not my choice of an enjoyable read, I found that reading it helps raise awareness that anyone, even a well-liked child psychologist, married with children, could be a sexual predator. A lot of parents still, even to this day, believe that their children are safe. But the truth is, this is a dark world in which we live. And White is the Coldest Colour does well in reminding us of that.

The author, John Nicholl is a former police officer and child protection social worker, so he knows his stuff. He wrote this book to help his readers realize the pain and suffering children go through by sexual predators.

I recommend White is the Coldest Colour because as hard of a read it was, the story moved forward, the scenes and characters were strong, and it raised important issues, one that people just don’t want to discuss. I can only imagine how hard it is to write a book such as this one, especially when it’s based on the things you’ve seen in your career. I truly look forward to seeing more from Mr. Nicholl.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA.

 

Stacey: The Twin: Book Two

  • Title:  Stacey: The Twin: Book 2 (The Twins: A Psychological Thriller)
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 2221KB
  • Print Length: 211
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1532755236
  •  Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: April 8, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E1MIMFC
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

Summary: If you have to kill one, kill the other also.”
These were the words that the renown psychologist, Dr. Susan Patterson had reluctantly had spoken to Dt. Isis Williams. Their topic of discussion: 16-year-old Stacey and Jannifer McHill, The Twins.

A few weeks after Detective Isis Williams and her partner and lover Annette Toni horrific confrontation with the twins– where Dt. Williams was forced to shoot and kill Jannifer McHill–Stacey McHill was sent to a new facility for the criminally insane. Dt. Isis Williams could not bring herself to pull the trigger on the remaining twin.
“If you have to kill one, kill the other also.”
In the meantime, a sadistic rapist/murderer is on the prowl in Harlem, his targets: middle age women. While Williams and Toni are hot on the rapist trail, Stacey McHill escapes while being treated by her psychologist, Dr. Susan Patterson. Now Detective Isis Williams will come to regret the day she did not take heed to Dr. Patterson’s warning:” If you have to kill one, kill the other also.

Review: Stacey: The Twin is the second book in R.G. Miller’s psychological thriller trilogy. Like its previous counterpart, it starts the ground running with its grotesque scenes and doesn’t let go.

Just under a year after the manhunt for two sadistic teenage serial killers ended, Detective Isis Williams is back, hunting for a brutal rapist and murderer. We are briefly reminded of the past events that took place, and the current fate of Stacey McHill, the only living twin serial killer.

Like the first book, the characters were often referred to by their whole name, which takes me away from reading. There were a lot of misspells or wrong word use throughout the novel, as well as telling rather than showing. However, the scenes were put together much better than the previous, although at times there weren’t breaks between point-of-views, which forced me to reread the paragraph a few times to grasp the difference between the scene changes.

At first, it seemed as though Detective Williams mellowed out from when we are first introduced to her in the first novel. Then at times her moods begin to fluctuate, making it appear to me as though she is bipolar. There was a brief scene when even her partner and lover questions Williams’ morals.

In this book, a lot of psychopaths did, or hinted at doing, psychotic deeds, which made me confused as to who was doing what. And, while the book was titled Stacey: The Twin, it took half the script to delve into the latest story of Stacey McHill, but we do end up finding that everything intertwines together, leading to a climatic ending.

Stacey: The Twins was written with a better effort than its predecessor. If you don’t like novels laced with foul language or you don’t like gruesome scenes, I’d steer clear. However, if you can look past them, then you may truly enjoy this series.

Overall Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About R.G. Miller

Author R.G. Miller image“R.G.Miller, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s an avid reader. His favorite subject is Abnormal Psychology. He enjoys classic R&B and Rock. He’s the grandfather of three, and he enjoys picking up a mike and singing a tune or two.

R.G.Miller spent three years working on his trilogy.”If you’re a fan of CSI, Criminal Minds, or Law and Order, The Twins: A Psychological suspense thriller is the book for you.”

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller is R.G.Miller’s first novel.”

Connect with R.G. on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/r.g.millerthetwins/

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller

  • Title:  The Twins: A Psychological Thriller Book 1the-twins-r-g-miller
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 525KB
  • Print Length: 227
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1514105799
  •  Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: November 21, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B018BREYFK
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

From the author:

A Gritty Suspense Thriller about innocence lost and darkness gained…What if two thirteen-year-old sisters, who were identical twins; sisters who’d came from an affluent family; twin sisters whose parents had shielded them from all the ugliness of the world; identical twins who’d shared that unique twin consciousness, were suddenly forced to watch the unthinkable: the torture and murder of their parents? What if three years later, these identical twin sisters go on an unrelenting quest for vengeance? This was the fate of 13-year-old Stacey and Jannifer McHill, identical twins who’d survived a living nightmare, but in doing so…they’ve become a living nightmare.

On their 13th birthday, identical twins Stacey and Jannifer McHill had to witness the worse thing imaginable: the brutal murder of their parents. Stepping into the shoes of the twins, it leaves you haunted by the end of the first chapter. As the story progresses three years later, we find that Detective Isis Williams, who is battling a serious anger problem, is hunting the twins who are on a murderous rampage. This is a story where we already know who did it. We just need to figure out the motive behind the heinous deeds.

The narrative tone throughout the story doesn’t seem as dark as it should be based on the story. The tone leaves one with the feel of a story intended for a slightly younger reader in spite of the sex, language and crime scenes. The twin girls, in the beginning, appear to be younger than 13, but I’m able to look past the youthfulness because on their birthday, they should be excited and happy.

However, according to the book’s description, the twin’s lives have always been perfect. Without reading the blurb, I see the twins as just being normally happy, and at the most, eight years old, rather than 13. We don’t know until near the end that the twins were shielded from a painful life.

When we meet Detective Williams, we find that she is a brutally angry woman. We even see her fighting a rookie in her first scene, which seems odd for a woman in her rank in a real world setting. I did enjoy the brief banter she and her new partner exchanged when they first met. And as Detective Williams progresses, her brutal anger turns to dedication of finding the killers.

My main issue with the story is that there were very few breaks in the scenes, if any. It could be the twin’s perspective, then Detective Williams, then someone else in one paragraph. This caused me to reread the scenes a few times to grasp which scene I should be focusing on at which time. Especially since the switches were so quick in the paragraph. There were also some editing errors that threw me off.

We quickly see how brutal, how dark, how gritty the crimes are. The crime scenes bring me to mind of CSI, or even Saw. That being said, a few word changes here and there would have made the narrative more intense. There was a lot of telling, rather than showing.

As someone who has been obsessed as of late reading literature about serial killings, and has always loved reading about identical twins, I thought the idea of this book was stellar. A little cleaning up, it would be that. If you enjoy movies like Saw, then you’ll probably want to give R.G. Miller’s debut novel, “The Twins” a try.

 
Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

About R.G. Miller

Author R.G. Miller image“R.G.Miller, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s an avid reader. His favorite subject is Abnormal Psychology. He enjoys classic R&B and Rock. He’s the grandfather of three, and he enjoys picking up a mike and singing a tune or two.

R.G.Miller spent three years working on his trilogy.”If you’re a fan of CSI, Criminal Minds, or Law and Order, The Twins: A Psychological suspense thriller is the book for you.”

The Twins: A Psychological Thriller is R.G.Miller’s first novel.”

Connect with R.G. on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/r.g.millerthetwins/


Angela Kay, Author imageBook Review

by Angela Kay.