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A Soul To Steal (The Sanheim Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Rob Blackwell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Contemporary reporters stumble into ancient powers - and modern urban fantasy gets a colonial Gothic twist. Blackwell's smartly original series is heady - and headless - good fun."
-- Melissa F. Olson, author of the bestselling Boundary Magic and Scarlett Bernard series

"I am happy to cheer Mr. Blackwell on as he draws us into his supernatural thriller, The Sanheim Chronicles.
-- Mark Metcalf, Actor (The Master, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)


A Celtic legend and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" collide in The Sanheim Chronicles, a trilogy that deftly combines urban fantasy, mystery, and suspense.

Book One, A Soul to Steal: Two reporters on the trail of a killer find much more than they bargained for. "When I first downloaded 'A Soul to Steal' I had no idea I would get sucked into a series that would fire my imagination and twist mythologies so thoroughly."

Book Two: Band of Demons: Quinn and Kate confront a new evil that threatens to destroy their town. The novel has earned rave reviews for its "plot twists that will leave you gasping for air."

Book Three: Give the Devil His Due: "A stellar conclusion to one of the best trilogies I've ever read... I'm still reeling from the ending." 


"With the combination of an ancient Celtic myth and the legend of the Headless Horseman, Blackwell's story is a leave-the-light-on kind of page turner... If you like suspenseful thrillers, check out A Soul to Steal."
--Indie Reader [Featured on USA Today Books]

A serial killer on the loose, two reporters in his sights, and a legendary ghost haunting the town...

Lord Halloween, a vicious murderer who targeted Loudoun County, Va., twelve
years ago, has returned. Quinn and Kate, two community journalists, race to uncover his identity before a promised bloodbath on Halloween. But to stop him, they may unleash a far darker threat -- and pay an unimaginable price.

A Soul to Steal has been featured on USA Today and praised by book bloggers and readers alike for its thrilling combination of urban fantasy, mystery and suspense.

See What Critics Are Saying:
"Blackwell has woven a Celtic myth, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and a serial killer's rampage into a great novel... When everything came together and all the pieces finally fell into place I was completely shocked. The ending was fantastic."
--Vanessa The Jeep Diva [Book Blog]

"You have the paranormal, murder, mystery/thriller, suspense and a little romance all rolled into one great read... Everything comes together incredibly well at the end. The ending of this book was amazing. I highly recommend this book."
--Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Book Lovers [Book Blog]

"This is one of those novels that manages to blend many different genres into a satisfying read. This is predominately a supernatural thriller, but Blackwell also manages to have a romantic narrative in the story as well which doesn't feel forced or false."
--Ginger Nuts of Horror [Book Blog]

Editorial Reviews


Recommended on USA Today! Read the Bestselling Novel That Has Critics Raving:

"Book One of The Sanheim Chronicles is a brilliantly plotted roller coaster read, and I loved every page of it...The story is gripping from the off, drawing you in to a rich and believable world. But this isn't any old world, there's a heavy dose of fantasy lurking behind the scenes."
--Shelfless [Kindle Blog]

"It was hard for me to believe that A Soul to Steal is Rob Blackwell's first novel. I loved how he took just a little bit of the Headless Horseman story and interwove it with his own to make this unique thriller. Anyone could enjoy this book."
--Bending the Spine [Book Blog]

"It was also interesting to explore how debilitating fear can be and how people react to it with fight or flight, how fear freezes you to the spot when you know you have to hurry and get away from the killer. I'm vague on purpose, peeps. I don't want to give you any spoilers. I just want you to read this book. It's really, really good."
--Nocturnal Book Reviews [Book Blog]

"The story is carefully unfolded, bringing some good old fashioned page-turning suspense."
--Alaskan Bookie [Book Blog]

"The twists and turns within the novel keep you guessing till the very end."
--The Heart of the Dragon's Den [Book Blog]

About the Author

Rob Blackwell is a journalist who currently serves as Washington Bureau Chief for American Banker newspaper. A native of Great Falls, Va., he has worked as a reporter for the Loudoun Times-MirrorEastern Loudoun Times and a columnist for the South County Chronicle.
He is the author of The Sanheim Chronicles, a trilogy that combines urban fantasy, mystery and humor. "A Soul to Steal" and "Band of Demons" were both Kindle bestsellers. The final book in the series, "Give the Devil His Due," was published on Oct. 1, 2013.
Rob has won several Virginia Press Association awards and was co-winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Business Journalism. He has appeared several times on other media outlets, including NPR, BBC, CNBC and C-Span.
He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2484 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rob Blackwell; 1 edition (November 9, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JVEXX0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,844 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great find! August 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I came across this book while I was reading the fourth book in Stephen King's Dark Tower series (which has proven to be a real chore, by the way, but that's another review...). As it turns out, it was a welcome diversion. "Wizard and Glass" almost reads like a history book, but "A Soul to Steal" grabbed me from the beginning.

First and foremost, I would say this is more of a character piece that just happens to be against the backdrop of a horror storyline. Actually, I'm not even sure I would characterize it as straight-up horror. If I had to categorize it I would say it blends aspects from character-driven drama, horror, thriller, whodunnit, and even some romance thrown in to boot. Yet it remains a coherent piece throughout, and at the end of the day what you get is the story of two lost souls trying to find peace in a lonely Virginia town.

Which brings me to one of the strongest aspects of the book: the location. It takes place in a colonial-era town in Virginia, so rich with history that you can't help but think there has to be a ghost or two floating around. The town has an almost otherworldliness to it, making it the obvious place for fear to settle in and make itself at home. The book starts out dealing with two journalists who work for this quaint town's newspaper, both of them haunted by nightmares (both figuratively and literally). But it eventually and seamlessly evolves into a conflict that is much larger and far more relevant than the sleepy town in which it takes place. Reality and the paranormal seem to flirt with each other throughout the book, and when they finally meet the story charges like gangbusters towards the end.

The two main characters are as human as I have ever read.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bending The Spine Review October 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Don't make my mistake and read this alone after night fall. I got freaked out at every little noise I heard. Not that that made me stop reading, I couldn't stop reading even when I got scared; I had to find out what was going to happen next. Mr. Blackwell had me on the edge of my seat throughout all of A Soul to Steal.

A Soul to Steal is about two journalists trying their best to hunt down a serial killer. I quickly became invested in the characters Quinn and Kate. Alone Quinn and Kate both have good careers and lives, but right from the start I know I want them to be together and I see that only if they stand as a team do they hold any hope against this serial killer. Kate has a secret from her past for wanting this monster dead that drives her to the point of not trusting others. It is crazy intense watching all this unfold and not being sure of who the killer is until the end.

It was hard for me to believe that A Soul to Steal is Rob Blackwell's first novel. I loved how he took just a little bit of the Headless Horseman story and interwove it with his own to make this unique thriller. I think anyone could enjoy this book and it is perfect for this time of year. A Soul to Steal had me smiling one minute and scared of my own shadow the next. And let me tell you this I don't know how long it will be before I will be able to open my front door to someone I don't know again...what if they it's serial killer?

Happy Reading,
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soul to Steal delivers September 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"A Soul to Steal", by Rob Blackwell, has both the twists and turns of a clever whodunit and the edginess of a supernatural thriller. Like a good detective novel, it pulls you in and keeps you guessing. But it is also more than that, combining mythology and chilling suspense into an engrossing tale about good and evil. Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will both enjoy this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful

Now bear in mind that while I like a good crime book, it is not one of my favourite genres. And yet I am always intrigued by supernatural elements in a story. So a crime book with supernatural elements, like this one, is one that I am more likely to pick up than an ordinary crime book. This synopsis of this book had me eager to read it and it did not let me down at all. In fact I find little to fault in this book in my struggle to put it down each night and not stay up in order to read `just one more chapter'.

The supernatural themes of this book are not overly heavy, but they do add to and expand the story and have more to do with our protagonists than the serial killer you're trying to identify. Like a lot of crime books this is a classic `whodunit', where the protagonist and the reader are trying to work out who the murderer is before it's too late. It comes complete with red herrings and potential suspects, and a twist that I was not suspecting. Let's just say that all my guesses for the killer were all wrong, and I did not see the true one coming until the main character identified them for me.

This book is self published. I say that not to warn or to put anyone off but just as a mere fact because reading the book itself does not give this fact away. It has the polish that you would find in a professionally published book, and I believe it has the potential to stand up against some of those books. Overall it's a great read and one you'll struggle to believe hasn't been picked up by a publishing house, such is the quality of editing and plot.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow
I understand that you have to build the story but it got old and I wanted it to cut to point. After putting it down and read another book I came back to finish it. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Cathy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story pace
Good story pace. Well rounded characters. Would recommend even though I personally was not thrilled with the ending. A little over the top for me.
Published 19 days ago by SSlade
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!
I do believe Rob Blackwell has now become my favorite author. This story about a serial killer, a headless horseman and two reporters Quinn and Kate assume. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel
Rob Blackwell shared mystery, love, and fantasy in his first novel, A soul to steal. I loved the portrayal of both Quinn and Kate. The characters had depth. Read more
Published 24 days ago by SEckhardt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, an easy read.
Kept me going and always interested.
Very well defined characters.
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan Cope
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
did not enjoy
Published 4 months ago by P. moszeter
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Okay, but I won't follow the series.
Published 4 months ago by bridaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
I did not want to put it down. And reading it around Holloween Realy held my interest. Loved it.
Published 6 months ago by Deb White
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was my first look at Mr. Blackwell's work. It didn't quite live up to the hype I read about the trilogy. Nonetheless it seemed like a good start. We'll see.
Published 6 months ago by Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for Halloween !!!!
Saw this on FaceBook and since it was .99 and Halloween I thought I'd try it since I was in the mood for dark and scary !!! Was not disappointed at all . Read more
Published 7 months ago by Laura
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More About the Author

Rob is an award-winning journalist with 15 years' experience and the author of The Sanheim Chronicles and The Soren Chase novels, two series that combine urban fantasy, mystery and suspense.

His first novel, A Soul to Steal, was featured on USA Today and praised by book bloggers and readers alike for its great plot and "fantastic ending." Many of his other books have been Kindle bestsellers in the Dark Fantasy category.

As a journalist, Rob has won several Virginia Press Association awards and was co-winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Business Journalism. He has appeared several times on other media outlets, including NPR, BBC, CNBC and C-Span.

You can find out more about him on his Facebook page, at\asoultosteal or on Twitter at @abwashbureau.

Rob lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

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