11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2003
Gordon Kessler has crafted himself one fine, scary thriller in Jezebel.
The fact that this scenario actually could happen made it all the more frightening to me. I couldn't help but think while reading it what a good movie it would make. All the ingredients are at hand: interesting characters, with non-stop fright and suspense that plays well against the Heartland locale. The prologue alone was enough to make my hair stand on end.
Tony Parker is the very-married hero with a devoted wife, two small children, and a St. Bernard to round out his life. Financial problems forced him to drop out of college one year short of his veterinary degree and he sees no way of completing that schooling any time soon. Despite that, Tony has made a good living for himself as Animal Control Officer of Sedgwick County Kansas and the City of Wichita. He's an organized and efficient boss with a deep love and respect for animals and is well respected by his supervisors and peers. The worst danger he has to face is an occastional bite from an animal that might be rabid. It would be an idyllic set up if not for a couple unanticipated complications.
Complication one. Tony's a good looking guy, a fact not overlooked by his young assistant Sarah Hill. She's made seducing the devoted family man her number one priority. Tony loves his wife and is not the play-around type, but a little of the zip HAS gone out of his marriage and Sarah IS an eyeful and well, Tony is only human. Sarah's selfish attempts at seduction turn out to be not so entertaining when all is said and done.
Complication two. People in Wichita and the surrounding area are dying horrible deaths unexpectedly, ripped to pieces by family pets. With each new grisly discovery, Tony's reputation as a professional goes from bad to worse. His job is on the line and solutions to the mystery escape him. Soon the nightmares begin, of Jezebel the huge demented demon dog that stalks Wichita. His behavior starts to change, as he suffers with the symptoms of what may turn out to be a fatal illness. One by one his closest friends are attacked and Tony fears his family will be next. Who or what has brought this horror to Tony and Wichita, and why?
Jezebel is a heart pounding, adrenaline pumping story and Mr. Kessler writes well. I recommend it to adults who enjoy suspense and fright. Not recommended for anyone under 18 due to sexual situations and grisly descriptions of violent death.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2002
What makes docile pets become vicious - turning on their owners with savage fury? Animal Control Director, Tony Parker, has to find out - and quickly. People in Wichita, Kansas are being torn to bits with alarming regularity.
During what is believed to be the first attack - on a nice elderly gentleman who lived, and then obviously died, for his two dogs - a hellish hound is unleashed on the good citizens of Wichita. One of the victim's pets, a huge black Great Dane named Jezebel, is on the loose. Her size seems to be matched only by her fury.
Tony, a happily married man whose life has settled into a comfortable place, is being pursued by his partner, Sarah Hill. She is a hot-to-trot vixen who has her sights set squarely on him. He doesn't really want to cheat on his wife - but Sarah has no concerns about his marriage or his morals. Her only concern is for her own libido - and protecting their lives against a world of canines gone crazy. Her relentless quest for Tony is sparking reactions in him he didn't expect and doesn't know if he can control. He isn't sure if "comfortable" is what he wants anymore.
Lt. Jack Simpson, a member of the Wichita Police Department, joins his long-time friend in a frantic chase to find answers to questions they're not sure they understand - before anyone else dies. One other small problem: Tony's been bitten by a skunk. Could the animal be rabid? Is Tony chasing death on four legs - with his own demise following close behind?
Gordon Kessler has crafted a compelling and intense novel that grabs you by the throat and won't let go. His characters are well drawn and complex. You'll find yourself yelling out loud at them in either fear or frustration. The plot is full of twists and turns that never let you relax.
JEZEBEL is definitely a book you will remember. You may also find yourself looking a little nervously at your beloved pet. Is that a smile - or could it be a snarl...?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2011
WOW! Gordon Kessler has gained a new fan in me! This book was INTENSE! It has just the right amount of suspense, just the right about of romance, and just the right amount of so many twists that the reader is instantly hooked until the very last page!
Tony Parker, Animal Control Director, husband and father of two, and dog owner, is a man who has it all, despite the financial rut him and his wife are in. He is forced to leave Vet school and take on a job as the director of Animal Control. The he starts witnessing something VERY unusual.....deaths people in his community. The cause? Jezebel. A wild, furious Great Dane intent on killing everyone. But, what's the cause of her fury?
That's something that Tony's intent on finding out, but he has a bit of a hard time doing it with this beautiful, young partner Sarah Hill, who has her sights set on HIM. Tony's married and comfortable, yet he can't get the beautiful Sarah's intentions out of his mind. He doesn't WANT to cheat on his wife.....yet Sarah wants him. He is finding it hard to resist her, and it's causing a rift between him and his loving wife. But, will it be enough to satisfy him? Or will the marriage he's so comfortable in be destroyed by a distraction called Sarah?
While Tony is set out to find out the reason for the fury in Jezebel, deaths keep piling up. Not only that, but now dogs who belong to loving families have become furious. Is it because of Jezebel? Or is something deeper and darker than that?
I absolutely LOVED the way this book panned out. From start to finish, you NEVER know what the next twist will be, and you are left on the edge of your seat the entire time. We have two very adorable and loving Cocker Spaniels, and I can't imagine them EVER turning furious! But, Kessler has made this book life-like and it is definitely a creepy, romantic, thriller and perfect for any lover of suspense! If you are looking for that great, late night, scary thriller, then look no further than Gordon Kessler's Jezebel, a 5 Book worthy story in my opinion! I am DEFINITELY a new Kessler fan and can't wait to read more by this fantabulous author
*This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review*
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
Jezebel is a fairly quick read. It contains some explicit sexual scenes and a great deal of very graphic violence, so it's not for everyone. It's mildly scary and not quite "can't put it down" material. Overall it's interesting--i did at least read it all the way through, but it had some major flaws.
It does contain a few typographical errors, though I've seen quite a lot of that in Kindle edition books. I think the biggest turn off for me was that at many points the story was too farfetched to be believable. Mention of rabies being transmissible by birds? Rabies is not a bird virus. It affects mammals only. Additionally, the main character --and this is a spoiler alert--
The main plot of the book is not actually rabies related. It's dog hypnosis. Yeah. Way out there. To top it off, at the end of the book, the main character becomes rather super hero like in his resilience, where other characters armed with guns get killed easily. He falls off the side of a building and lands twenty some odd feet below on a scaffold with no major injuries other than being knocked unconscious momentarily. He undergoes a strange faux rabies psychotic experience that's all in his head and he shoots himself....in the head....and still lives.
I dunno. To me the book was too farfetched to be any good. It's really just a dime store thriller that makes for okay bus stop reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2005
Tony Parker has it all: a wife he loves, two wonderful kids, an affectionate St. Bernard, and a great job as Director of Animal Control for Sedgwick County, Kansas. Unfortunately, like all tragic heroes, it's not enough. Financial woes forced him to leave college one year shy of his Veterinary Degree, his law enforcement colleagues don't take him seriously, his vivacious partner it seems will stop at nothing to make him her next conquest, and (despite his loyalty to his vows) his wife doesn't trust him and has him in the proverbial doghouse.
If these problems weren't overwhelming enough for most to deal with, there has also been a spate of grisly killings by a rampaging Great Dane. Tony does his best to track down the monster-sized Jezebel before she can attack again, but the longer it takes him to find her the more her influence seems to spread among previously docile family pets. These dogs of all size, shape and breed are linked together by only one disturbing fact-they have all been under the care of his good friend and surrogate father, Doc Johnny White Cloud.
It seems all too clear that despite Parker's best efforts, no one in Wichita is safe anymore.
Mr. Kessler is a very strong writer who creates in his first novel an almost palpable moment in time. Disturbing as his subject matter is, he unabashedly writes what he sees with the unblinking eye of a well-trained sniper. All of his characters have redemptive qualities, but are full of the human frailties that the flesh is heir to. The reader finds himself lusting after the nubile Sarah Hill, while simultaneously trying to focus on the fantastic Julie Parker waiting at home, willing himself (and the hero) to make the right choice. Kessler draws you in and forces you to care about his creations even as he rips their world asunder before your very eyes.
This book is intended for adults. It is infused with adult situations, a few of the sexual nature, several of graphic violence and many depictions of gore. That being said, all such situations were handled either tastefully or were used to good effect. Mr. Kessler did not seem to include anything gratuitously, but simply chose to tell the story to its' greatest effect. This reviewer found that while Jezebel shows opportunity for Kessler to continue to grow as a writer, this was an excellent first effort and a really enjoyable read. This is definitely a book that will be savored by the adult mystery/crime enthusiast.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2012
Wow! No more kissy noses with my old yellow lab "Nicky" for me.
Jezebel is a real nail biter. One reviewer (Lisa) wrote "JEZEBEL is a fast-paced thriller that calls to mind Dean Koontz's brainwasher thriller NIGHT CHILLS and Stephen King's rabid horror CUJO." She hit the nail on the head to me. I loved Night Chills by Koontz and Cujo was the only Stephen King that I have made it all the way through. Just take both stories and put them on steroids and add lots more twists, turns, romance, blood, guts, gore all with Kessler's ability to put you right in there with them on the Streets of Wichita, KS.
It really makes you think about what may be possible with today's technology and modern medicines. Mix all that up with a vengeful whacko who has the ability to reprogram mans best friend the Dog into a precision killing machine.
Jezebel was Kessler's first thriller novel and I feel that it ranks high up there with novels who's authors have hundreds of books under their belts. I wonder how many long nights he must have sat under the statue of THE KEEPER OF THE PLAINS in Wichita that stands on sacred ground where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers come together before he could in his own mind set the scene to create a book like this?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ok this is one of those books that could and should have been a five star review. The story idea was terrific and in places was actually quite scary! The action scenes and descriptions were well written and thought out by the author. His characters were good and you could get involved with them - wanting them to make the right choices or get eaten etc. The pacing was very good and for the most part kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through the book. However... and this is my personal peeve, others may not experience the same thing at all, I could have done without the entire "do I or don't I cheat on my wife" subplot. It took me away from the horror story aspect entirely and ruined any sympathy I had for the main character. I will read more things from this author in the future. That's sort of the beauty of the Kindle freebies and first time Indie Authors - there are some great books from new voices out there and for the most part, Jezebel is one of them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2012
Gordon Kessler really out did himself with this thriller. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. He knows how to put the word thrill in the word thriller. You never know good from bad in this book. Next time you see a dog on the loose you will want to run for cover. I was reading this when I was alone, and my phone went off next to me, and I jumped, all I would have needed was a howling dog. Just read the first chapter and see if you don't agree. The intensity of the book goes on and on. Read it if you can. Jezebel will remind you of Stephen King. I enjoyed every minute of it. Looking for his next thriller.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2014
He figured he’d die of old age. Not with his throat in the mouth of his beloved Jezebel, his beautiful coal-black Great Dane.
Jezebel lover her master. Until she didn’t. And now she’s loose in the streets, in the dark.
Something is wrong with the dogs. They are turning on their masters, ripping and tearing, no trace of man’s best friend left in them.
We think we’ve tamed the long ago wolf that crawled out of the dark to share man’s fire. But it’s still in there, and now it’s at the fore. The sweet dog you cuddle with could rip off your face.
What could be the cause?
It’s up to Animal Control Officer Tony Parker to get to the bottom of it as more people are savaged and more die.
As a dog lover, I was worried about this story. I knew that the dogs would have to be stopped, that some would have to be destroyed, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. But the author knew what he was doing. He put you right in the character’s shoes as they fought to survive. There could be no tender feelings, only kill or be killed.
And the animal control officer, Parker, was still humane, he still didn’t want to kill any dogs he didn’t have to.
The cause of all this was very interesting. You won’t be able to guess until the author gives you enough clues. It’s really quite creative and adds it own terror to the tale.
Imagine it. Every other house has at least one dog. We feed them, love them, trust them. What if they turned? What if that pet became a killing machine? And what if they travelled in packs? No one would be safe.
This book puts you there. There’s no mercy from the dogs. They will not stop. Many die. Add in a few sub plots and it gets disturbing on many levels. A tough story, written so you can handle it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
Several dogs start turning on strangers and their owners alike while a Bible-thumping madman is leaving his mark all across town. Called to investigate alongside local police is animal control officer Tony Parker, put on the case after several vicious mauling incidents show evidence of human involvement. He works with his assistant Sarah Hill to help search for the cause before the growing group of roaming, murderous dogs claims even more victims. A rabies outbreak appears to be responsible at first, and yet the dogs are seemingly becoming increasingly organized and timed in their attacks. . . .
JEZEBEL is a fast-paced thriller that calls to mind Dean Koontz's brainwasher thriller NIGHT CHILLS and Stephen King's rabid horror CUJO.
I thought the story was well organized, albeit very notably action-packed. The different turns are delightful and the level of gore is a nice compromise between tasteful and horrific. The characters reflect a good level of development and the protagonist is likable and believable. The short chapter written in Jezebel's point of view is interesting and well placed, and I thought the final twist at the end was very good, although I found the repetitive language referring to that twist to be a little distracting. With that said, I recommend JEZEBEL to fans of contemporary horrors and thrillers who enjoy a lot of action in their books.