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Review: Never Rest (By Jon Richter)

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Source: Goodreads

Length: 242 pages

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Salvation Island has a disturbing history, one that has left a shroud of darkness over the island. Ex-police inspector, Chris Sigurdsson, had experienced this darkness first-hand when he’d spent one week on the island investigating a case. The week had left him with terrifying experiences that still haunted his memories. Now, five years later, he has left his police life behind to become a successful private detective with a good reputation.

Then Erina Brennan calls him. She tells him she wants his help in finding her estranged husband, David Lithgow. A writer suffering from bipolar disorder, Lithgow had gone to Salvation Island in search of inspiration. Erina had lost all contact with him days ago. Chris decides to explore the case a little more before taking it up, unable to resist the macabre pull of the mysterious island; and unable to deny his growing desire to meet Carin Mason, the police officer he’d worked with on the island case five years ago, the woman who he’d wanted to call after, but hadn’t.

When Chris reaches the island, he finds much more than he’d bargained for. Lithgow had hurled himself into the depths of the island’s terrifying past. Chris tries to make sense of what Lithgow had been doing before he’d disappeared in the hope that it would help him find the man. But he finds only growing chaos instead. Before he realizes, he gets pulled into a world of insanity where reality and fantasy, past and present begin to merge. And as Chris soon discovers, his mind is not the only thing he risks losing. Salvation Island has more secrets than anyone could have imagined. And someone is hell-bent on keeping them protected, even if it means killing anyone who discovers the truth.

The Bottom Line:

Terrifying at times while being a page-turner throughout, this book does extremely well until the very end where, in some ways, it falls short of excellent.

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for an ARC of this book.

Never Rest is not for the faint of heart. It is chaotic, insane, and disturbing. Incredibly graphical, it does not just tell you about the madness inside someone’s mind, but takes you right into its depth. It starts and ends by making your skin crawl. And it keeps the pace up in between, too. Chaotic in a good way, it keeps pulling you into labyrinths of thoughts and ideas that mingle with reality, until the line begins to blur.

The characters are easy to associate with, while not being too two-dimensional. They’ve got some complexities, but are not highly complicated individuals, making them very relatable. There are aspects of the story (and to some of the characters) that, in retrospect, seem highly improbable. But this isn’t something you would notice in the flow of the story and, in fact, the oddity adds to the thrill of the tale.

The only part that left me wanting is the end. The story is well written and comfortably fleshed-out. But the end seems a bit hurried, leaving a few things unanswered and some things to the reader’s choice. While the latter isn’t a problem, a few pages extra may have made the former less of a problem.

There are three stories over three timelines referenced in the book. A disturbing past, Chris’ first case, and the current case. While the first and third are well explained, the second seems to only appear in brief mentions. As it turns out, this is because the second story is the main plot of Book 1 in the Chris Sigurdsson series (Deadly Burial). (Now I wish I’d read that first.) The end of Never Rest leaves you slightly dissatisfied because it leaves you with a lot of questions. The next book in the series will probably answer some of them (I hope).

The main thing I realized about the book is that it reminded me a lot of the work of Simon Beckett – specifically, Written in Bone (you can read my review of that great book here). It’s got this spooky, chaotic, disturbing feel that is hugely compelling and intriguing.

I’m going to read Richter’s first book, Deadly Burial, very soon. I don’t know if my experience with Never Rest would have been different had I read the first book before. What I do know is that you can read Never Rest as a standalone or start here at least, and other than a few things seeming random, you won’t really be lost.

Highly recommended to:

  • fans of Simon Beckett
  • fans of Tim Weaver
  • crime fiction and thriller fans
  • fans of psychological thrillers (this actually does check the boxes for both psychology and thriller)

Never Rest released on 30 March 2018, and is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. Let us know what you thought of Never Rest or Deadly Burial (or just say Hi!) in the comments below.

– Rishika

 

 

Don’t forget to write a review… Please?

Have you ever stopped to consider the role a review can play in the fate of a book and its author? This is a question that everyone needs to ponder, whether you are an author or just a lover of all things that can be read!

How can a review help a reader?

Ever read a book so good that you thought everybody could learn something from it? Then, spread the word. Or ever read a book so bad that you simply had to warn other book lovers to stay away from it? Then, spread the word. That’s what book reviews help you do. Whether you loved or hated a book, you can tell others about it simply by posting your thoughts on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or any other platform or electronic store. That way, you help others decide whether they need to spend the money on that book or not.

With the growing number of authors in the market, self and traditionally published, readers have never had these many choices from which they can pick up their next book. And anything that can help you choose your next book can also be responsible for saving you hours of reading time or your finding your next favorite author. That is the power that a review has. You can be the one who wields that power. Your review is responsible for people choosing or ignoring a book. You can make people try out new authors, new styles, and new genres too!

By sharing your thoughts, you not only help another reader decide on a purchase, you also give the author an idea of what you would like to see more of and what you could do without. You help an author discover aspects of their own writing that they may never know existed. All it takes from you are ten minutes and ten lines. And just as your leaving a review helps others, reviews can benefit you too; because if most people who pick up a book leave a review, it can only help you discover books about which you didn’t know.

That’s great for readers, but how can a review help an author?

Today, the world of literature has more competition that it has ever seen. Indie authors have changed the landscape of the industry. And many of them are actually pretty awesome. But with so many choices, how do you know which new author to trust and follow?

That is where reviews help authors – they help set authors apart from one another. If people recommend your work, you get increased sales and a larger fan following. If people don’t recommend your work, you get critical feedback which can be incorporated in your next piece of work. As long as people voice their feelings and thoughts about a book through a review, the author will know which aspects of his work appeals to people and which doesn’t. And that can only help you, as an author, get better.

As an author, getting a review can be scary. And it isn’t always pleasant because for five people who love your work, there will definitely be a couple who don’t. This happens because even though certain people may like a particular genre, they have different expectations from the books in that genre. You meet some of these and you don’t meet others – that’s just how it goes. But every review, good and bad, is helpful to you. You earn from the good ones and learn from the bad ones.

 

Simply put, reviews help books and authors establish a following for themselves in the face of intense competition. As an author, a review can help you become a huge success or simply get better until you become a success. And as a reader, a review will help you find books that were previously unknown to you and you can help someone find their next favorite book too.

Lastly, reviews are a great way to share your thoughts, discuss the emotions you developed for a book and its characters, and even make friends over discussions sparked by matching or clashing reviews. When you look at it that way, don’t the ten minutes it would take you to drop a rating or a review become worthy of spending? Remember, as a reader, you hold the success of an author in your hands. So why not help them towards success if you like their work or help them get better if you don’t?

– Rishika