Saturday, 22 March 2014

Book Review: The Executioner/Zombie Theater by Scot McAtee

William Colts is no stranger to prisons. He has been a Corrections Officer for fifteen years. Tonight is his first night serving on Death Row at the newest prison in the country-- Desolation Hill. Tonight he will help put a man to death in the most state of the art "humane" method the state has yet devised. He will achieve something he has been waiting years to fix; he will settle a longstanding score. There are three rules on Desolation Hill's Death Row: On Desolation Hill, if a prisoner steps out of line, he doesn't go to the cooler. Dead men never get the chance to meet their makers. Nosy Corrections Officers who ask too many questions, don’t live to tell the tale. As Colts goes about the routine preparations for the night's execution, several questions come to mind. What is the door behind the chair for? What is this "humane" method his partner talks about, and just who is the Executioner?

Most importantly, will he be able to go the whole night without seeming too nosy? It seems that his life depends upon it.

My Review: 
Colts wants to get this job on Death Row in a new environmentally friendly prison so he can be involved in killing a man who killed a member of his family. But something odd is happening at the prison. Why is everyone so scared of going into the death chamber? Why are no questions allowed? What exactly happens when the prisoner is left there? Colts is about to find out.

I quite liked this one. You can understand the motivation of Colts. Plenty people would want to be there when the murderer of someone they love is put to death and some may feel better to be legally involved in that death. I liked his partner, who guesses why he wants the job that others are scared to do and he tries to warn Colts not to start getting nosy or it could be the death of him. I liked the way the story was set up, showing the fear in everyone who had to enter the chamber to execute the prisoner and how quickly they want to get out of there. I had a few ideas through the story about what was behind the door that everyone kept looking at, but I won't tell you what is was in case I spoil things for you. The ending as well is just my thing!

This was a nice horror/thriller without the need for gore. The characters are nicely developed, the plot moves swiftly and the tension is gradually turned up as the execution looms. I wonder if this could be the future of Death Row executions...

star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png
This book is FREE on Smashwords!

Skip McMurray's life has been on a downward spiral for several months. To escape from the stress he spends his time at an abandoned theater on the edge of town, dreaming about the day when he will have enough money to purchase the property and restore it to its glory days. One day while working on some items in the projection room, he hears someone else walking around. Could it be the owner, or is it someone more sinister? There is only one way out and that means he'll have to zip right past his unexpected guest.

My Review: 
Skip hangs around the old theater, doing a bit of clean and repair, dreaming of owning the property and dating the hot but unattainable Nadia. But today there is movement in the building and Skip doesn't know who or what it is and must find a way to sneak out.

This was one of those stories that had real potential but was just too short to deliver. On the plus side, it is well written. I liked the plot itself and the main character was likeable-for a change, a young guy who was against drugs! How often do we see that? I hate stories where the so called hero is a pothead.

However, my copy had twelve pages and the first five had the whole history of this theater and Skip's personal problems and dreams for the future. Had the book been fifty or a hundred pages long, that would have been fine as it was quite interesting to read, but the book was half finished when the first hint of danger finally arrived for Skip. In a story this short, I wanted to get right into the action. I was starting to wonder if I was going to see a zombie at all! If the book had been longer we could have had the extra tension of a long chase, hiding and panicking, and a dash for freedom which I feel the author could have delivered nicely. Instead it was all over very quickly without the chance to get too excited by what was happening.

I feel that this author has the potential to write some really good stuff if he writes longer material and develops the good ideas that he has in a bit more detail.

star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png
 This book is FREE on Smashwords!

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