Authors Showcase: Twisted Thrillers
December 18, 2012
The Book: Scarab
The Author: Stavros Halvatzis
Powerful men will do anything to posses it. There is just one thing standing in their way – the living Sphinx itself.
Review by Chad St. James: Scarab is the the kind of story that one comes across and is pleasantly surprised. Combing successfule elements from mystery, thriller and sci-fi, the end result is both captivating and exhilerating.
Scarab takes you on a captivating journey from Egypt, London and South Africa, the pace keeps you turning the pages, while the ammount of historical research that the author brought to the story gives the plot a sense of realism.
One can only hope that this author continues explores the subject matter in future books. Scarab has the making of what could be a great blockbuster, I can only hope someone a studio comes across this story sooner then later.
Review by Stark Raving Welsh: Stories concerning globetrotting adventures have never, in my personal opinion, been a literary thing. I’ve always considered the genre to be distinctly filmic.
However, with Scarab, the author has somehow managed to forego expectations of the genre and constructed a thoroughly breathtaking exploration. You almost feel like you’re watching a movie when you read Scarab because the imagery is so vividly explained, the adventure so amazingly captivating. It is as if the author had taken inspiration from his favourite action/adventure films and designed the basic structure of his novel around their elements but then eschewed off into much smarter, and in some ways more believable, subject matter.
Of course, it is what it is, a story of myth and legend… and whatnot. I consider myself ever the skeptic but even I can believe some of the things in Scarab contain a certain fluidity. I was inclined to think “this could happen” at several different points throughout the book. And I think any story that can make a person believe in, ahem, magic or myth is worth checking out. That kind of experience doesn’t come along often.
The Book: Into the Dark
The Author: Stacy Green
The Story: A two-hundred-mile labyrinth of dark storm drains serves as refuge for the delusional stalker who will go to any lengths to possess fragile, emotionally isolated Emilie Davis. To survive, Emilie will have to confront the secrets of her past she has kept locked away from everyone, including herself.
Emilie is a master escape artist—she’s fled a manipulative mother and a controlling ex-husband. But it’s impossible to evade a stalker who uses a bank robbery as a ruse to kidnap her. He’s still out there, hiding in the Las Vegas tunnels and dodging police. Emilie’s life careens out of control as her assailant continues his pursuit. She has nowhere to turn but to Nathan Madigan, the hostage negotiator who worked the robbery.
Nathan is haunted by his failure to protect a loved one fourteen years ago and has dedicated his life to saving others. Determined to catch the lunatic hunting Emilie, he finds himself losing his professional detachment. He fears history is about to repeat itself if he cannot protect Emilie from the Taker’s obsession.
The police close in on the Taker’s identity as Nathan and Emilie grow closer to each other and to resolving the misery of their own pasts. At the height of The Taker’s madness, his attempt to replace someone he’s lost will either kill them all or set them free.
Review by Kathy: Emilie Davis has accumulated more than her share of emotional scar tissue in her thirty-four years of living but she has found a fragile balance in her life. That balance is abruptly shattered when she becomes the focus of a psychopath’s obsession. Enter Nathan Madigan, SWAT team member and hostage negotiator, and the sparks begin to fly in more ways than one.
The characters in this book are nicely developed and the story has as many dark twists and turns as the Las Vegas storm tunnels where the novel is partly set. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more of Ms. Green’s work.
Review by Edith Parzefall: Well written and skillfully crafted, Into the Dark centers around three main characters: a victim who can’t accept her role, a killer pining over his lost love, and a hostage negotiator troubled by past failure. These characters quickly come alive and keep gaining depth throughout the book. There are plenty of vivid minor players, as well. Stacy Green breathes life into her creations with only a few light strokes.
One might call Las Vegas the fourth main character. We only get a few glimpses of the glamor and see more of its dark underbelly. Of course, it’s dirty and reeks, but we encounter fascinating people there. While the thriller plot kept me turning the pages, Into the Dark is also an intelligent study of how past actions affect who we are and what we strive for, if we like it or not.