Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Book Review: Abra-cadaver by Matt Drabble

Tommy, Dixon, McEwen, PJ, and Alison were always a close knit group until Tommy's 12th birthday party. Tragedy strikes when a magic trick goes horribly wrong and a woman lays dead.

A local magician Albert Trotter is railroaded during a rigged trial and locked away. Forever protesting his innocence and after a vicious assault in prison, he is eventually sent to a mental institution in a catatonic state.

Now Tommy is 36 and heading home for the first time in over two decades, but he's not alone. Someone is slaughtering the residents of Denver Mills with magic trick themed murders and holding those involved with the Trotter trial in a steely grip of fear.

Tommy will have to find the strength to bring his old friends together as secrets and lies are exposed throughout the small town of Denver Mills.

Something evil is coming home, and they're bringing a whole new bag of tricks.

Where can I buy this book? 



My review:

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

A local magician does a trick at a kid's birthday party which kills his wife, and a fixed trial and the silence of the kids who were messing around with the guillotine condemn him to prison. Now the children have grown up and the town is going to get a very unwelcome visitor seeking revenge.

It might be nice if Goodreads and Amazon change their blurb to reflect that the magician is called ARNOLD, not Albert. But I digress.

This was an excellent horror read with all the things that I love about the genre. First there was the horrors of the birthday party. I hate kids so a nice bloody party was the perfect start for me to get into the book along with the dry humour of the author as he told us how excited and nervous the kids were getting.

"It was a potent combination and several parents feared for not having brought changes of underwear."

Loved that! There were scenes of inventive and amusing murders of people who deserve what they got, all with a magical twist. The magician was funny and dramatic as he killed people, giving him a twisted kind of charisma.

"The shadow stepped back from the sodden mess and surveyed the work. "Ta-dah" it whispered softly."

There was the tension of knowing that the boogeyman was out in the shadows waiting to pounce. You knew who some of the victims were to be but not how they would die or in which order. As people go to investigate noises in the dark(silly!) or wander off on their own(dumb!) you were just waiting on Arnold to jump out with his silky cloak on. The mixture of tension and bloody death were perfectly combined in a story that moved along smoothly. I enjoyed the way the author put the story together.

The characters were developed well within the story and I disliked Dixon from the start, as the author intended I believe! Out of the five I liked McEwan the best and he seemed to be the one who suffered the most from the events at the party. Even the bad characters were a perfect fit and you looked forward to them getting what they deserved. The grand finale was very good and I was left satisfied by the way everything worked out.

There were good plot twists as well. I did suspect a few of them but the final big reveal I only guessed right at the very last second which shows that the author does an equally good job of hinting and concealing. I'd love to talk more about these twists but of course that would mean huge spoilers and I won't do that. But I can tell you that the twists are great and fit perfectly into the story.

If you love horror and scary thrillers then you should enjoy this book. I will be looking at other work by the author and if this comes out in paperback, I will definitely add it to my collection. Brilliant book!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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