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Victimized [Kindle Edition]

Richard Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
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  • Length: 19 pages (estimated)
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Revenge isn’t the only dish served cold...
From the New York Times best-selling author hailed for her “inimitable, take-no-prisoners style” (Kirkus Reviews), Cold Betrayal forces Ali Reynolds to confront the face of evil, and the women who are being hunted. See more from J.A. Jance

Book Description

In the near future, Annabelle lives a fractured life, haunted by the shadows of her past, dark moments of abuse and freedom at the hands of her own kin. She has the opportunity to get into a boxing ring and fight her oppressor, to face the man that altered her, to beat him down with all of her rage. This is the way things are now, society given the chance to take on the murderers, the rapists, those that have tainted their lives, hurt their family, destroyed what was innocent and pure. Preparing to go to battle, Belle taps into her true identity, and changes, a warrior entering battle, unwilling to hesitate, ready to kill.

Length: 7000 words (or 22 pages)
(Originally published in Murky Depths #15 as a shorter version.)

Editorial Reviews


"'Victimized' is one of the best pieces of bad-ass, hard-core apocalyptic noir I've read in a while." --Scott Phillips, author of THE ICE HARVEST

"Put your dukes up, readers, because Thomas is gunning for the KO with this brutal little ass-kick of a story." --Craig Davidson, author of SARAH COURT

"As tough, ass-kicking and twisted as fiction gets. Imagine a Dear John letter that Hitler might have written to Lucifer right before he blew his brains out. Then crank things up ten notches." --Donald Ray Pollock, author of KNOCKEMSTIFF

"A horrifying vision...strong and energetic prose hot enough to blow a power plant. It isn't pretty and it isn't for everyone, but the best work never is."

About the Author

Richard was the winner of the ChiZine Publications 2009 "Enter the World of Filaria" contest. His short story "Maker of Flight" was chosen by Filaria author Brent Hayward and Bram Stoker Award-Winning editor Brett Alexander Savory. It has since gone on to also win at Jotspeak, beating out over 200 entries. This short was based on the novel Filaria by Brent Hayward, published by ChiZine in 2009. 

His work is published or forthcoming in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, Murky Depths, PANK, Pear Noir!, 3:AM Magazine, Word Riot, Dogmatika, Opium, Vain, Cherry Bleeds, Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology (Living Dead Press), Outsider Writers Collective, The Oddville Press, Colored Chalk, Cause and Effect, Gold Dust, Nefarious Muse, and Troubadour 21.

He also writes book reviews at The Nervous Breakdown.


Product Details

  • File Size: 36 KB
  • Print Length: 19 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QS98VO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,437 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tight December 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
What I especially found accurate and compelling was Thomas' treatment of violence and incest and its long-term effects. He works this theme into the narrative framework seamlessly so that the ending is powerful, well-deserved. Dark and compelling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dish Best Served Cold June 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I went into Victimized without reading anything about it. I just purchased it knowing that I enjoyed Richard's first novel (Transubstantiate) and wanted to read something else by him.

This story had a lot of the elements that I loved about Transubstantiate. It starts out vague - really vague. And tells a little story, gives some emotion, reveals a little more. It really eases you into the story and keeps you screaming, "Just tell me what's going on already!"

But that's what I liked about it. I like when an author can build the tension to the point that you're begging for more, where the author has you guessing what's going on. And when everything finally does come together and you figure out what's happening (and what's probably going to happen), when that realization hits - you can't help but smile.

If you've read Transubstantiate by Richard, then you'll recognize his style and tone. The prose is his. The style is his. He's perfecting his craft. This story is tight, it's focused. And I really enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

Story wise - without giving any spoilers - it has the feel of Craig Davidson's The Fighter meets Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.

Like I said before though, this story is all Richard's. It pulls you in and keeps you reading. I read it much faster than I thought I would or should have. I had things that needed to get done, but I made myself finish reading this first.

Was it perfect? Probably not. There was little section at the end where I wish there was more to it. Like explain what the point of that little bit at the end was for. But really I'm nit picking at this point.

This story is highly recommended. And for a buck, you're not going to get much better than this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once a Victim, Always a Victim April 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Richard Thomas has done what only the best can do--take something that feels familiar, it feels like you've read it or seen it before, and takes you to surprising and unpredictable places. It's a head fake before he curb stomps your teeth into the concrete.

You see, books and films have found many uses for inmates, most of them having to do with their disposability ("Gamer" and "Death Race" are just two of the more recent, schlocky entries into the genre). And usually, we center on a criminal anti-hero with stubble and a sob story, you know, so we relate to him--he doesn't really belong in prison. And usually the inmate has to beat impossible odds to win his improbable freedom.

But this is "Victimized." This is Richard Thomas. And this tale serves as a parable for our criminal justice system--the victims are usually overmatched, sucked into the vortex of rules and appeals, making justice seem far, far away. In this sweat-and-blood-spattered tale, the victims can choose to extract their own justice. And we are left to wonder if the rage and anger at being a victim can overcome being physically inferior in a ring where the battle is to the death.

What could easily descend into a glossy premise that would eventually erode itself by being too cute, Thomas digs into the human element, the victim element, and while there's always a place for revenge tales, rarely do they center on the dark corridors of the human heart that must be navigated to find the power to extract it.

And at the end, we are not left wondering who won or lost, but if victory is even possible. Once a victim, always a victim.

And I have to add--ninety-nine cents? For two bucks, you can get this story, a Snickers, and a coffee--and that sounds like a pretty awesome night on the couch to me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Every once in a while a story comes along that just gives you the old Gut-Punch. The Gut-Punch is that moment when each aspect of the story comes together in a single instance of crystal clear clarity. The words sing to you. As your eyes pour over the words, you realized you are no longer reading. You are experiencing the story. Think back to that moment when you first saw Alien when Kane (John Hurt) is eating with the rest of the crew, seemingly okay after the facehugger died, and then we see the parasitic xenomorph baby rip through his chest.

Gut-Punch. We knew from that moment on that we were not in Kansas anymore.

Victimized by Richard Thomas (Transubstantiate) is one of those stories. The Gut-Punch is the whole story, from the first words until the end. And though we may not be in Kansas, the world he's created is eerily like our own. Thomas has the ability to ground us in his world. We may tread what feels like `safe' territory, but there's some nasty surprises just around the corner. The sense of familiarity ends when we learn that violent criminals now have a choice when they come up for trial: Jury or the ring. A fight to the death. Criminal versus victim, or someone from the victim's family. People spend their hard-earned cash placing bets, unable to stop watching the brutal beatings and torturous deaths. As the title suggests, we see this world from the eyes of a victim. She's trained long and hard, honed her muscles and shred the fat. She's ready, but will this chance for justice finally set her free?
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More About the Author

BIO: Richard Thomas is the author of six books--Disintegration, The Breaker (Random House Alibi), and Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications), as well as two short story collections, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) and Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press), and one novella in The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). With over 100 stories published, his credits include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2, and Shivers VI (with Stephen King and Peter Straub). He has won contests at ChiZine, One Buck Horror, and Jotspeak and has received five Pushcart Prize nominations to date. He is also the editor of three anthologies out in 2014: The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he is a columnist at LitReactor and Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. His agent is Paula Munier at Talcott Notch. For more information visit


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