Friday, December 21, 2012

Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond--Review

Okay, here's a read that I couldn't put down! Check this one out over the holidays!


Here is the blurb:

Tony Hooper stands in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster's release. Seventeen years after Mitchell Norton, the devil, terrorized Algonquin, Illinois on a spree of kidnapping, torture and murder, the authorities release the butcher from psychiatric prison. Tony longs to charge across the street to destroy Norton--no remorse--as if stepping on a cockroach. Only sheer force of will prevents his doing so. The devil walks the world again. What shall Tony do about it? Aye, what indeed. After all, this is what Tony does. It's who he is. The devil himself long ago made Tony into this hunter of monsters. What a sweet twist of fate this is, that he may still, finally, administer justice. Will FBI Special Agent Linda Monroe stop him? She owes him her life, so how can she possibly put an end to his? Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton battle for supremacy, with law enforcement always a step away, in this story of justice and vengeance, evil and redemption, fear and courage, love and loss.

Okay, I chose to review this one because there were elements of the story that reminded me of Dexter. I'm a fan of both the show and the book and wanted to see if this story could possibly hold up next to Jeff Lindsey's tale of  a serial killer who kills other serial killers.

It does!

And then some....

Let me just say that while, yes, there are some Dexter comparison's to be made here, Forgive Me, Alex is a great tale all on it's own. It's dark, twisted, fast paced and allows you to really understand what the main character, Toby Hooper, has become and why. I thought this was an extremely well written thriller with just the right twists and turns to keep me wondering about how the end would turn out.

As far as character development, you've got two distinct voices in this novel. The book is broken into sections where it is narrated by Toby and at other times, by Mitchell Norton. Though both men are considered killers, their mindset and reasons for what they do are vastly different. At first, I thought this technique of being inside their minds at varying points was a bit distracting, but it really hooked me as the book progressed.

There are also flashbacks in the book that take you back to 1978 when terrible things were afoot in the small town of Algonquin. These things are pretty graphic and not for the reader who isn't prepared for them. I have to say that the scene I knew was coming, the one the author sets you up for, was handled really well. It involves the death of a child, (I'm a teacher so the thought of that makes me flinch), and Mr. Diamond could have gone really far with the graphic nature of the crime. Instead, he chose not to and that particular scene ends up standing out for me as being very well written and memorable--almost comforting to the reader.

I enjoyed the female characters in this book. Both came across as strong women.

I did know what was going on when the new murders began in Algonquin. That's probably just my own writer brain working and it's pretty hard to pull one over on me. Of course, I say that, but I was surprised by the very end where there is a slight twist to the story. Obviously, I don't want to give away too much, but I noticed there is a second book in this series. Yes! I will definitely read it!

Christmas is coming friends and Forgive Me, Alex would be a great gift for someones Kindle this holiday season! Congrats, Mr. Diamond on writing a fun thriller that I would recommend to our readers here at All Things Writing.

Here is his author bio and book links:

I write fiction, long and short. My writings cross over many genres and focus on diverse subjects, ranging from the mysteries of the human mind, with its fragile psychological and emotional states, to the everyday joy and anguish of life on Earth.

I've been an avid reader my entire life, and started writing at the age of 12. I love a good story, of course, a compelling plot and satisfying conclusion. Yet as a reader, I've always been drawn to great characters. The characters bring me back to an author time and time again. This shows in my writing, where I attempt to create authentic, complex, real characters you can come to love, and in whose company you feel at home. Or maybe you'll despise a character and want to stick a fork in his eye. Hey, bad guys are fun too!

I did my tour in the real world, serving in the U.S. Air Force, then working as everything from a forklift operator to a bartender in my youth, before settling in as Business Services and Project Manager for a large manufacturing and distribution concern. Now, at long last (Man! Why did I wait so long?), I'm putting pedal to the metal in pursuit of the author's life.

After many years as a Freelance Editor, with several clients published or aspiring to be so, I co-founded Evolved Publishing, where I wear hats as Publisher, Executive Editor, and Author. As an author, I started with a few short stories, and released my debut novel, a psychological thriller called "Forgive Me, Alex," in December 2011. The sequel, "The Devil's Bane," is under way and due Spring 2013.

You can find out more about me at my website:


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