Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: The Kult

The Kult
Shaun Jeffrey
Available through Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, Book Depository, and Leucrota Press.

In a nutshell, if you like a great mystery/thriller/horror novel that grabs you and drags you along for the ride and doesn't let up til the last minute, this book is for you.

Mr. Jeffrey is like the friendly carnival barker who cajoles you into stepping right up and sitting your butt right down in his dark ride of horror and suspense.
The Kult starts out with a jolt as you strap in and hang on.
The Oracle is a master at murder, each of his kills a work of art, premeditated and rendered with exquisite care.
Our protagonist, Prosper Snow, a police detective is in the middle of this horrendous investigation, seemingly stymied at every turn, as The Oracle taunts the police with photos of his gruesome crime scenes.
Prosper is a driven man. Already dogged by guilt over an accident that has maimed his wife, he is now doubly deviled with this series of crimes.  As if his plate is not full enough, enter the Kult, an organization of which Prosper is a member, who call upon him to carry out a deed that goes against everything he stands for.
How Prosper and Company's actions entwine with those of The Oracle is how this particular ride takes off on a break neck pace that never lets up.
To say more I would have to give away too much and I don't want to ruin the reading experience.
There is gore galore for the gore hound, and disturbing glimpses into how far men are willing to go when pushed.
There were times when I literally became dry-mouthed reading this book the suspense was so great.
There are wonderful stomach churning descriptions of murder and mayhem that become darker with each plot twist.
Jeffrey renders claustrophobic you-are-there descriptions towards the end of the book that had me turning the pages as quickly as possible to:
a) find out what happened next,
b) to get the character the hell out of the mess they were in.
Three times I thought I had it figured out who The Oracle was and all three times I was wrong.  When the revelation did come I was totally unprepared.
The characters are flesh and blood jumping off the page.  He uses clever turns of phrase throughout the book, but not so much that they become cute catch phrases solely to be cute catch phrases.

By the time this dark ride came to an end, I was wrung out...and that's just the way I like it.

Shaun Jeffrey is a British author, one who most assuredly bears watching.
In my opinion, a good horror novel is hard to come by these days - Shaun Jeffrey is the real deal.

(I want to add that The Kult has been optioned as a motion picture to be directed by Kip Shelton, with shooting slated for September 2010.
This is especially good news, as Jeffrey's writing strikes me as being cinematic in nature, and The Kult dead on for a thriller of a film.)

For more information on Shaun Jeffrey, please visit:

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