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The Horrifying Preponderance Of Sexual Violence In Writing

I was incredibly angry when I read the description of “Dark Captive” by Jennifer Denys a few days ago, and merely posted my feelings to Amazon at the time, which was not professional. In order to clarify my feelings, the following information is pertinent, and demonstrates the reasoning behind my belief that these sorts of books are wrong on both psychological, sociological, and legal levels, as well as the fact that their very existence forwards a sociopolitical atmosphere of acceptance of violence towards women on a level rising to that suffered by Middle Eastern women.

Laws are pertinent in my state of Colorado and do not include Federal Statutes, as there is no indication the victim was carried across state lines by the perpetrator.

The following charges may be made against the protagonist in a court of law:

Definition: Kidnapping Colorado laws classify kidnapping into two categories; first degree kidnapping and second degree kidnapping.

C.R.S. 18-3-302 A person commits second degree kidnapping when s/he seizes and carries any person from one place to another, without his consent and without lawful authority; or s/he takes away any child below 18 years with intent to keep or conceal the child from his or her parent or guardian or with intent to sell, trade, or barter such child for consideration.

Second degree kidnapping is a class 2 felony if the person kidnapped is a victim of a sexual offense or robbery.

C.R.S. 18-1.3-401  A person guilty of a class 2 felony will be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 24 years or less than eight years

Capital Punishment Statutes in Colorado

Capital punishment, also known as “the death penalty,” remains a legal sentence under Colorado laws for certain crimes, including, but not limited to: COL. REV. STAT. §18-3-301, et seq: Kidnapping.

Colorado Statutes: § 18-3-303. False Imprisonment

Definition: False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of a person against her will by someone without legal authority or justification.

Examples of false imprisonment may include, but are not limited to: A person grabbing onto another person without their consent, and holding them so that they cannot leave.

Colorado Revised Statues Sections 18-3-402: Sexual Assault, 18-3-404: Unlawful Sexual Contact

Colorado criminalizes rape, sexual battery and sexual assault. The crimes are no longer divided by degree or level, but instead into sexual assault or sexual contact based on whether penetration of any kind was completed or only touching of genitals and other intimate parts. The penalties for each crime vary based on a number of “aggravating” factors that increase criminal responsibility, for example using force or date rape drugs. Force doesn’t always have to be physical force where the perpetrator physically overpowers the victim; FORCE COULD INCLUDE PSYCHOLOGICAL COERCION (BEING “TALKED INTO IT”),

Penalty: Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-402. Class four felony, from one year to twelve years in prison.

Capital Punishment Statutes in Colorado

Capital punishment, also known as “the death penalty,” remains a legal sentence under Colorado laws for certain crimes, including, but not limited to: COL. REV. STAT. §18-3-301, et seq: Kidnapping.

I believe this logically lays out my reasoning behind my belief that this author is encouraging criminal acts against a victim, as well as encouraging a mindset of  acceptance of said criminal acts by persons who may see these types of works as justification for said criminal acts.

PLEASE NOTE: According to RAINN (Rape, ­­Abuse & Incest National Network) every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted. Only 6 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison. While the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) distinguishes (and I make this point very distinctly) “CONSENSUAL” acts of violence during sexual play as paraphilias rather than paraphilic disorders, commissions of CRIMES against others during acts of paraphilia or the planning of acts of paraphilia with the intent to do harm are viewed differently. Also, as pointed out by a report from “The Hastings Center” the development of DSM-5 also caused, and still opens up, the possible legal repercussion of acts of true violence, including pedophilia, being pressed beyond the pale of legal action, leaving true victims

(INCLUDING CHILDREN)

without legal recourse against their abusers. While the numbers of reported sexual assaults have dropped since 1993, the statistical numbers have been proven somewhat misleading given the reverse social stigma which leads men, women and children to no longer view sexual assaults as being legally actionable due to the preponderance of books, movies, and social mores, as well as DSM-5, that now teach that women have no rights to protection for their bodies. “No” no longer means “No” but rather, “Let me tie you up and do what I want and your body will like it, therefore it is all A-OK.”

A supposedly “forward thinking” ruling in the DSM is reversive in that true victims no longer feel they have the right to step forward about their abuse. It reminds me of a particular situation I faced in the 70’s, where my boss told me if I didn’t give him a BJ in his office he would fire me. I didn’t, and he did. That isn’t counting the time I was pulled down and raped when in college and was told, basically, that it was just something I was to expect – guys are guys, after all.

I hope that proponents of physical/sexual violence against women, such as this writer, will step back and think about the grievous injury they cause by championing actions such as kidnapping and rape as this book does. For pertinent cases, see Ariel Castro, Cleveland Ohio, and thousands of others.

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Review: A Cold War by Alan Russell #Bestof2015 #SuspenseThriller

“Nothing could be more heart rending than this mute and motionless dispair” – ― Émile Zola, Thérèse Raquin

“She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.” ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Despair. Horrible, gut wrenching, soul destroying despair. Nina Granville’s life has become a hell on earth unlike any most ‘normal’ people could ever understand. Fear so deep her bones ache with it. Because Nina is a captive. A captive of a monster in a land where ice, snow, and death are balanced on the head of a pin. Where the wrong breath, the wrong move, can mean immediate, or long, drawn-out death.

Captured and held in the wilds of Alaska by a sadistic monster, Nina is doing everything she can to survive, but the brutality is nearly unbearable, the psychological terror breathtaking. Nina is, very literally, in hell. A frozen hell, buried in ice and snow. Repeatedly raped, beaten and terrorized, she has little reason to continue living.

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run Cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGree.

The same poem. Over. And Over. And Over. The repetitive dirge, of a madman. No hope. No hope. . .

Until she finds Elese Martin. Or at least, Elese’s journal. Elise – the madman’s last victim. Elise suffered as Nina does now. The beatings. The rapes. The terror. Elise, who was held on for years. Who had, and lost, a child by the monster. Who made a plan.

Now, Nina needs to plan. To plan, to hope.

This book was, literally, heart wrenching. Alan Russell literally broke my heart with his writing. Nina’s pain, her struggle, was written so well I felt it. The story is incredibly well-written, well-paced and the characters and landscape feel so very real I could almost smell the smoke, the cold, the forests of Alaska. There are so many layers in the book, layers that I fell through as if through water, sinking into blackness.

It is an important story, an important book, with strength and depth. I can’t recommend it highly enough, but be ready to feel Nina’s and Elise’s pain, their desperation and despair. It is breathtaking, twisted, and amazing.

I received A Cold War from the publisher in an uncorrected proof. All thoughts are my own, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Strap in for the ride of your life.

Review: Spirited Legacy by Kate Baray (Edited:Links Work Now)

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The library, with its Daedalian labyrinth, mysterious hush, and faintly ominous aroma of knowledge . . . – P. J. O’Rourke

I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands. My God, right within reach there were dinosaurs and planets and presidents and girl detectives! – Deb Caletti

When I first met Lizzy in Lost Library, the first in Kate Baray’s wonderful Urban Fantasy Romance series, I was, in a word, charmed. As I said in my review, Lizzy is much like me – She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way.

Of course, in the manner of all things, Lizzy’s comfortable little world blows up in her face when a seemingly ancient book shows up on her doorstep. Well, she supposes it could be a book. If it weren’t blank, that is. And when a hotty McHotterson of a werewolf shows up on her front porch looking for the book, well, all thoughts of safe, calm comfortable Lizzy are blasted right out of the metaphorical water.

Now, in Kate’s second book, Spirited Legacy, both Lizzy and her Alpha werewolf (Boyfriend? Mate? Pack Member? Maybe?) John are back in Prague, ensconced in the Library, drawn there once again by Harrington, Director of the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative, or IPPC. Just as friendly as ever, if you find controlling stuffed-shirts to be amenable, Harrington has called Lizzy back to the Library to continue her work on translations of the magical books found within. But to a much more serious purpose than simple research. For at the end of LL Sarah, Lizzy’s co-kidnapped from the first book, was injured, severely, saving Lizzy’s life. And the only way to save Sarah’s life may be to find a cure within the Library itself. And the fact that Harrington, a top caster, has offered to mentor Lizzy, is yet another encouragement.

Come, come, time calls our close complots to action.
Go, Proximus, with winged speed flie hence,
Hye thee to Wales: salute great Vortiger
With these our letters; bid the king to arms,
tell him we have new friends, more forces landed
In Norfolk and Northumberland; bid him
Make haste to meet us; if he keep his word,
Wee’l part the realm between us. –
Ostorius, The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father, ACT III SCENE V – Ascribed to William Rowley, and occasionally (most likely spuriously) to William Shakespeare

Of course, life isn’t getting any easier for Lizzy than it has been since the happenings in LL. Even the resident ghost is throwing rocks at Lizzy’s head – literally!

I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I *do*! The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

After injuring the evil Zach Worth, soul sucker extraordinaire, at the end of the last book, Lizzy and her compatriots don’t know if he is still even alive – but all bets are on that he is – and that he has something even more evil up his sleeve than anyone ever imagined. What is a poor Caster to do? Is it not bad enough that John slipped in a, “Oh, BTW, you are my mate now and Female Alpha of my Pack and also BTW, my Pack hates you, even though they have never met you?” smack upside her head? Oy.

The previous cast of characters are all present-and-accounted-for, and we get to meet some awesome new characters, like Harry, Sarah’s healer (Yes, yes, “Harry the Healer.” Well, at least he thinks it is funny.) Oh, and did I mention the dragons?!

Kate’s writing remains crisp, her character development spot-on, and the intensity in this book keeps the reader enthralled from first page to last. There is a bit more relationship building between Lizzy and John, her Alpha boyfriend who is trying to pull his pack out of the Dark Ages in terms of their view of the world. John is one of the more interesting Alpha characters on the scene today. Much like Kate Daniels’ Curran, John comes off at first as all macho-macho man, and yet, if you look closer, there is a great deal of compassion and understanding underneath all that drool-worthy body and drive to protect. Independent Lizzy is having a heck of a time managing the transition from Totally Independent Lizzy to part of a couple, and John is having a hard time learning that sometimes being the full-time protector isn’t the right way to go. But they are getting there, and again, this is one of the more interesting couples that I have read in Urban Fantasy recently.

I highly recommend both books in the series, and would suggest that you grab a copy of Lost Library and read it now. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a copy of Spirited Legacy. If you can wait that long, that is. Once I ended LL, I couldn’t wait to start SL!!

I received an ARC of Spirited Legacy from the author, Kate Baray. This fact does not influence my reviews of either book.

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Blog Tour And Review: Spirited Legacy: A Lost Library Novel, Book 2 by Kate Baray

Hooray!!!! Spirited Legacy is out, and after Kate Baray’s splendid first novel, The Lost Library, this newest edition does not disappoint! My review later today, but until then, enjoy the Tour information, read my review of The Lost Library – and don’t forget to get your copy of Spirited Legacy, available NOW!

Synopsis
Lizzie receives an offer she can’t refuse—an internship at the Lost Library, home to hundreds of magical books. And to make the deal even sweeter, her prospective boss has offered to act as her magic mentor. What’s a girl to say, but yes? Except…there are the questions of her unresolved love affair, her recently acquired arch enemy, and a haunting past.
 
Can Lizzie tackle a new job, learn the magical ropes of spell casting, and save her relationship with an amazing man—all while eluding her nemesis? She’ll sure as hell try.
 
Join Lizzie as she muddles through another magical adventure, with old friends and new, making the most of what life—and the afterlife—throw at her.

Buy Now

 

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Excerpt
This excerpt is unedited and subject to change.
Lizzy felt a hard yank on her scalp. She wanted to cry out, but no sound emerged from her lips. Someone was dragging her down the path. Her muzzy, pain-filled brain tried to put the pieces together. If he was carrying a gun, he might have a very good reason to hate her. A personal reason to become emotional over her appearance at his front door. Maybe his magic was gone, too?
The painful pulling at her scalp was joined by a steady wrenching feeling in her shoulder. She must have passed out for a moment, because suddenly she was inside the house and being pulled across a floor. She could feel the wood floor and then the rug underneath her—but it was all distant and fuzzy, like she’d just woken from a dream but wasn’t yet able to think clearly or move. She could feel even these sensations start to slip away as her thoughts became hazier. A sharp pain pierced through the darkness. Her body slamming into a wall? A doorway? Briefly she tried to grab at the door jamb she was being yanked past, but her fingers wouldn’t move to clench the frame.
She was so tired. Even the mounting terror—what would happen to her?—couldn’t keep her awake. She didn’t want to die like this. She didn’t want to die at all, she thought right before she lost consciousness.
She woke briefly as a guard pulled her body this way and that as he restrained her. Her shoulder screamed with a tearing pain, and tears were running down her face. She could just barely make out Worth speaking in the background. He was giving instructions to one of his men for evacuation. As she struggled to hear anything that might hint at their destination, the guard had finished binding her feet and moved to her hands. He pulled her hands together, wrenching her damaged shoulder. She bit down on her cheek frantically as waves of pain tore through her. She didn’t want Worth to hear her scream, she thought a fraction of a second before her mouth filled with her own blood, and she lost consciousness.
MeetTheAuthor


 

 

Kate Baray is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. She writes and lives in Austin, Texas with her pack of pointers and a bloodhound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer, but writing is her passion. When she’s not writing, she volunteers with a search and rescue team, sweeps up hairy dust bunnies, and watches British mysteries. Sign up for Kate’s newsletter:

 

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Edit Finished! Skin Walkers: Conn By Susan Bliler

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Follow Susan Bliler’s blog for the publication date of the new edit for Skin Walkers: Conn and all the rest of her wonderful series!

I just shipped off the edited copy of Skin Walkers: Conn to Susan for checking and approval. Yea!

You can see my review of the original at here on my site, of course.  It is just as good as it was before, just grammatical and continuity changes made. See Susan’s site at www.susanbliler.com for more about her Skin Walkers series. If you like action, adventure, fantasy and romance, this is a series you should NOT pass up!

For those of you who have the books already, check Amazon.com for a list of Susan’s works, including all newly edited books. You should have access to the new edits there!

Enjoy!

 

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Go here to Susan’s Goodreads Page!

About Susan

My pack territory is in North Central Montana. Born and raised in an untamed location that bridges the gap between rolling prairie and majestic mountain peaks, I am born to a family that also bridges the gap between cultures. My father’s people boast a fiercely proud Scottish ancestry while my mother’s tribes descend from two savagely beautiful and unique nations that inspire my Skin Walkers series.

I’m a huge fan of MMA, boxing, hockey, 30 Seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, DMX, the Killers, and 21 Pilots (“sometimes quiet is violent…”). I also love to read because it encourages me to write. ( I always hate it when authors add that they love coffee and chocolate. Really? Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?) Anyway, I love beer…kidding. I don’t love beer, but we are engaged in a very serious relationship. (Mom, please don’t call me when you read this.)

Check me out at www.susanbliler.com

A’hau.

 

Review: Lost Library By New Author Kate Baray

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A great story by a new author who I will definitely be following! Click for the Goodreads page!

There are a lot of things that catch my attention about different books. Interesting story lines, great character development and wonderful world building are all equally important to me. In the case of Lost Library: An Urban Fantasy Romance it is the heroine of the piece that truly tickled my fancy and kept me reading. This is not to say that the story line and world building aren’t superb. They are. But I could really identify with Lizzie. Maybe it is the fact that she is a lot like me. She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way. But that is about to change.

A book has shown up a Lizzie’s house. A very unusual book. Very old and bound in leather, at first she thinks there is nothing in the book. But she slowly realizes that not only is there writing on the first page of the book, but every time she opens it the writing, and the hand it is written in, changes. Now, if only it wasn’t all blurry and unreadable . . .

Kate Baray has written a fast paced, interesting book which I glad to say is much more story than ‘romantic scenes.’ Her magical world building is both unusual and comprehensive, and made me smile over the creativity. Overall, the only thing I don’t care for is that now I have to wait for the next book! It seems clear that there is more coming in what I hope will turn out to be a series. However, there is no real “cliffhanger” at the end. There is plenty of room for “more” but if you want a stand-alone, well, you could certainly end here and be satisfied. Of course, again, I really like Lizzie and hope that we can learn more in future about her growth as magical ‘Record Keeper’ and her interactions with others of the magical world.

Highly recommended – and not just for romance readers. While there is an undercurrent of romance and “boy gets girl” there is good, solid storytelling to be had in what appears to be Ms. Baray’s first published work. I look forward to more from this talented writer! Besides, anyone with a pack of pointers and a bloodhound has got my attention anyway!

Yippee! Beta Reading Book Three – The Pierced Series by J. C. Mells

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The cover for “Perfect” – Book three of the J. C. Mells “Pierced” series!

Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!

Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!

 

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

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Who is Pierce?

______________________________

Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!

Review: Pinked – J. C. Mells

PINKED BC3Take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.  – Me.

These were my final words in my review of Pierced the first volume in J. C. Mells Pierced series. I raved and carried on about Pierced – it’s depth, storyline, amazing characters and creative twists. I loved it, and I hope you got a chance to love it too.

The second volume of the series, Pinked is out now, and it does not disappoint.  J. C. reaches deep in Pinked, expanding upon an already fascinating character, reaching deeper into her psyche, and twisting her life beyond anything she ever imagined it could be.  Pinked shows yet again that, though she may have lived through horrifying perversions, she still has an ability to not only survive, but to thrive in circumstances that would warp a weaker person’s soul.

Things are moving fast for Pierce, in ways she never would have expected. Life, family, tragedy, its all here with a vengeance.  As if life wasn’t hard enough for Pierce, even her DNA has changed, as Lucas has been forced to change her in order to save her life. Now, Lucas looks back at what led up to Pierce’s change, and what it means not only for Pierce, but for himself and the rest of his extended family. Can Lucas learn to get past his self-hatred, his fear of his wolf and the need of those around him for him to step up and accept his place as Alpha?

The story cranks up fast, and blasts into a race against time. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Just as Pierced was, Pinked is wonderful and complete, with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange.  Once again, you are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, since Pierced!

Highly recommended with a bullet!

Review: The Trading Society – Eric Martin

For Marcus Cowle everything in his life revolved around business and the singular matter of making money, obscene amounts of wealth other men with similar aspirations only imagined of acquiring in fanciful, hopeful daydreams. – Eric Martin, “The Trading Society”

There are no heroes…in life, the monsters win.
― George R.R. Martin

When bad things happen to men we say it’s terrible, but when bad things happen to women we say that’s just a cultural practice says Lou de Baca, U.S. Ambassador at Large, Office to Combat and Monitor Human Trafficking. Nita Belles, In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States

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Buy this book if you like INCREDIBLE thrillers. Just click!

Eric Martin ripped my heart out. He tore my soul and poured salt into the wounds. He ripped and shredded and broke. Listen to me. I sound like one of those sicko BDSM groupies, reveling in my own self-humiliation, don’t I? But I mean this in a totally different way. A deep and heartfelt way that opens up my eyes and pours acid into my soul.

Martin has written a gripping, horrifying fictionalized book on the revolting subject of modern day slavery. As Siddharth Kara says, in Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery: “Every year, hundreds of thousands of women and children are abducted, deceived, seduced, or sold into forced prostitution, coerced to service hundreds if not thousands of men before being discarded.”  It is easy to think of this as being a ‘foreign’ problem. Sure, it could happen in India or the Arabian countries, but it could never happen in the good old U. S. of A.!

R.i.g.h.t. Martin brings the problem home, setting his story in the Windy City itself, Chicago, the heart and soul of the Midwest. Set within the prestigious confines of Great Northern University, Martin pulls you deeply into his story, a story of politics and power, of horror and greed and brutal, bloody deeds beyond the comprehension of normal human beings. This is not just sex slavery, in all its horror. This is blood lust and brutality at it’s most savage. Savagery carried out by the wealthy and the privileged, those whose selfsame power places them beyond the reach of the law, beyond the reach of morality or honour. Further, this is a story of the people who provide the victims, as Martin writes, “. . .(who) dealt with clients of a prominent stature with refined tastes, men such as Commander Omega and Sheik Rahm, demanding quality merchandise of a higher grade. To obtain this fine product required precision and thoroughness in preparation.”

These are men with no souls, whose only goal is to find the prettiest, the smartest, the most profitable young women, whose sale will enrich their own coffers by millions of dollars. Young women who can look forward to a short, sharp life of pain and brutality, blood and savage death.

Martin doesn’t pull his punches in this book. He doesn’t wrap things up in a neat little bow and end it all with a happily-ever-after. He writes a very real thriller about a very real problem, and he does it in a manner that will literally take your breath away. I wouldn’t recommend this for the weak of stomach. Instead, I highly recommend this to the reader who is willing to go where many won’t – into the deepest, darkest corners of the human psyche. Who isn’t afraid to look straight into the eye of evil and accept the consequences. This book is, in so many words, amazingly brutal, horrifying and breathtaking by turns, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I have read many horror books over the years, but none of them can beat the horror that resides within truth.

Very highly recommended. Not for the weak-willed.

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