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Review of The Iron Pendulum

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller, June 18, 2017
This review is from: The Iron Pendulum (Kindle Edition)
A stunning thriller full of suspense and susprises. The opening scene sets up a great sense of intrigue as we discover along with the detetcives a very strange crime scene. Soon, another crime scene is discovered, this one even more bizarre and puzzling. You simply can’t help wondering what has happened and will want to know where the story is going. There are two people missing. We learn a little later on where the missing people are, while the detectives are still in the unknown. It’s hard to describe this thriller further without risking giving anything away.
It’s high octane, fast paced, well plotted and definitely a worthy challenge for those eager to figure a novel out before the debouement. A treat for crime fiction fans.

Monday

The pungent smell of rot permeated the air as footsteps echoed through the forest. Hairs rose on their tiny arms and legs as the bushes rustled to their right. The sound drew closer; their footsteps quickened. No point in running; the roots were a trip hazard and judging by the heavy odour, a swamp was close at hand. 

Suddenly, the torchlight dimmed and went out leaving a yawning darkness ready to swallow them whole. Soft whimpers escaped their lips as they waited for their eyes to acclimatise to the inky blackness staining their retinas. All the while the rustling edged ever closer, shaking and snapping the undergrowth with a vengeance.

Just as the shadows and silhouettes became distinguishable against the purple hued sky, the creature broke free from the bushes. Screams pierced the night followed by running, tripping, crying figures. The odd shape gave chase, closing the distance with ease. 

Flash! Another torch punctured the dark, exposing the two figures cowering next to the redwood with moss tinted bark. Big brown eyes looked up at the adult looming over them.

“That’s quite enough for one night, Izzy and Zach,” sighed their mother. “You’ve excited the dog and now he smells like the swamp. It’s time to go home.”

“Aww, mum please,” they cried. “Just one more game of hide and seek and then we will call it a night. Please?”

Her shadow panned across the tree line and shrubs as she turned to find the smelly beast wagging his tail, waiting for the command to hide in the undergrowth again. She smiled, her teeth glinting in the sparse light.

“Fine. I’ll count but no more screaming as if the devil is out to get you! Ready?”

Eager little heads bobbed up and down before disappearing back into the darkness.

A voice called,”One…two…three..!” 

Two figures scrambled in the dark, their bodies pumped with adrenaline as their breath came in gasps. This was the best game of hide and seek ever! 

Review: The Iron Pendulum

My editor, Lance Mitchell, wrote a lovely review for The Iron Pendulum.
Here is what he had to say:

Write to Inspire

The Iron Pendulum
The Iron Pendulum by Eloise De Sousa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Declaration of interest: I am the editor of this book.

The author is already well known for her superb children’s stories and for a previous thriller, Deception. I was delighted to be invited to beta-read and edit her latest book.

It captured me from the first paragraph. I warn you that it is a fairly gruesome tale with lots of blood and flesh [literally] hanging around. The main story is interwoven with a lot of intrigue and a share of puzzles for the detectives and the reader to work out. I am sure that you, like me, will go off down several wrong tracks as you try to solve the mysteries.

What I particularly liked was the way that the characters of the rather strange family members and the detectives are built into the main story…

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The Pink Mask

Taster:

Crystal quivered as another sob escaped her swollen lips. How could such a simple plan go so wrong?  She had followed her sister’s commands to the letter.  Yet, somehow, somewhere along the line, what was supposed to be a silly prank had become real.  Her sister was dead.  Tangled, wild hair fell unchecked across her face as she turned to watch the paramedics load Harold’s unconscious body into the back of an awaiting ambulance.

She sighed.  All this for revenge.  Had she had the nerve, she would have stopped her sister in time; hindsight was a beautiful thing. After giving her statement to the police, she would be free to go, whereas poor Harold would be arrested for Melanie’s murder.  Crystal gulped down a nervous giggle.  Well, from another perspective, Melanie plan had worked!

With the body of her sister wrapped in black and tucked away in the back of another ambulance, the sirens wailed their despair as they pulled away from the crime scene.

The body of Melanie Kent wrapped in black, most becoming for any beautiful corpse, mused Crystal.  The heavy footfall of a very large man dressed in a heavy trenchcoat caught her attention.  His determined walk in her direction wiped the lingering smile off her pretty face.

“Detective Bob Jones, miss. I’d like to ask you a few questions about what occurred tonight.”  Heavy brows and the hooded, focused stare scared her. She wrapped the patchwork blanket tighter around her body.

“I already answered the officer’s questions detective.  What more do you want from me?”

Jones watched her. She was as slinky as a cat’s tail, curling her feline body into a protective stance at his scrutiny.

“Do you know the woman who was found in the bathtub?”

“N-no detective. As I told Officer Campbell, Harold and I were in the bedroom.  I got up to go freshen up and found her there. I tried to pull her out but…” A lonely tear wet her cheek. “The blood.  It was too much and my mind snapped. I screamed. Harold, he tried to help me but I knocked him aside and ran.” Her hand quivered as she cleared stray strands of hair from her eyes. “The next thing I remember is being wrapped up in this blanket and the police arriving.”

The detective watched Crystal picking at the blanket, as though trying to remove the lies woven within. He sighed. Life would be so simple if people told the truth the first time round.

Tapestry of a Killer

That beautiful moment when your serial killer finds a reason for being! I’ve been pandering with the idea of poison, but due to the common occurrence of poisons as a medium for murder, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. 

Given the nature of my killer and realising the catalyst needed to activate his natural instincts, I have a clearer direction as to why he creates mayhem in Bagley town. My two detectives have their work cut out for them once he goes on a rampage and what could have been a clean cut case of suicide turns into  a bigger mess.

Looking at the behavioural patterns of certain individuals and the stimulus pushing them to violence gives a model for my character to morph into and perform the dastardly tasks that normal functioning humans could never achieve. 

Perspective can be frightening when it comes to cold blooded killers. I do hope I can capture the essence whilst throwing breadcrumbs through the story for my detectives to find.

Catch up with Detectives Perkins and Jones in The Iron Pendulum. Click on the pic to download your copy. 

The Iron Pendulum

Book Tuesday

Welcome.
Product DetailsFor today’s book review, I am taking a look at Stephen King’s Thinner. This is an exciting book for me because it harks back to my childhood when my older brother and I used to voraciously read anything my dad put in front of us. From westerns to love stories, adventure to mystery and suspense, we were exposed to worlds away from our mundane home in Zimbabwe.

Thinner was one of the first books I read by Stephen King. I’m not sure how old I was at the time, but after reading Pet Sematary, I was looking for my next horror fix. My father had banned me from reading Cujo, he thought it was too frightening and violent for me at such a young age. I don’t think he knew that I had already read Pet Sematary!

My brother handed me a copy of Thinner and I was struck by its plot: Billy Halleck, an arrogant lawyer who runs over an old gypsy woman whilst driving, due to his wife distracting him, escapes murder charges thanks to his ties with the judge and police involved. Angered by the lack of justice, an old gypsy relative of the murdered woman curses the lawyer and those involved. Billy curse is one word…”Thinner!”. His disbelief at first and then his ineffectual attempts to stop the process leads him back to the gypsies and finding a cure.

The old gypsy man tells Billy that he should bear his own punishment but, if he wanted to be rid of it, he would have to give a slice of a special pie baked with his blood to the next victim of his choice. Choosing to give it to his wife, whom he blames for distracting him whilst driving, he awakes to find that his daughter and wife have eaten slices from the pie. In the end, Billy takes his slice and eats it, joining his family in their doom, thanks to him.

The story, written under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman and inspired by his own weight loss, leaves no sympathy for the main character, Billy Halleck. He is the epitome of our population; overweight, unapologetic and greedy for a quick fix. Though published in 1984, this book is just as relevant now as it was in the 80’s. With the politics and popular opinions flying this way and that in this world, we should be careful in case we become Billy Halleck. Who knows, there might be a gypsy out there ready to teach us a lesson on not facing up to consequences!

If you would like to read Thinner by Stephen King, please click on the pic below.

I do hope you have enjoyed this week’s Book Tuesday. Join me again next week for more of the same.

Have a great week.