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Northman Paperback – January 3, 2016
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About the Author
JD Hughes has two novels, supernatural thriller NORTHMAN, and his latest: Gothic thriller AND SOON THE SONG, plus short stories, BOMBER, ISSUE 49 & THE 500 widely available. He is currently working on his third novel, due out mid 2016. SAMPLE REVIEWS "Written by what I can only describe as a master story teller." "This is a tour de force of a book. The author is definitely one to watch." "At last, an intelligent, beautifully written horror thriller" "He excels at setting the mood, whether it's sexual tension, a sense of creeping evil, or outright violence." "A very talented writer with a fantastic imagination and literary eye" "A great supernatural thriller, intelligent writing and the historical elements were superb." "Terrifying, darkly moving but occasionally fall-about funny." "One of those rare books that uses genre writing to say something profound..." "Disturbing, poetic, visceral, intelligent, magnificent." Follow his blog and get advance notification of new short stories or novels and free chapters. JD loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to post comments on any subject you like. Blog: http://jdhugheswriter.wordpress.com http://about.me/J.D.Hughes Follow on Twitter: @JDHughes4
Top customer reviews
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Things I found great: The crafting of this story is fantastic. Reminds me of a Stephen King epic in which the characters start off all over but come together for a common purpose. Cinematic, in a way. This was very well done. So was the character development of major and minor characters. Great attention to detail and to inner thoughts that help the reader get into their heads. Well done.
Things that bothered me: There was a little bit too much of this thought-following at times, and it got distracting. So did some kind of aversion to the use of possessives on the part of the author. "The voice of Michael...' or "The head of [another character]" and so on. This plays better in the "historical" sections but not so much in the modern.
Warning: This is a book that has scenes of intense violence. Viking raids happen. Innocents get hurt. The book's summary uses words like "horror" and "terror" and "ancient evil". Yes to all the above.
I found myself backing off as the supernatural got a little too much for me. This was a personal preference and is not meant to reflect adversely on the writing. The writing is good. It's just that some of it wasn't for me. Still, I was very interested in the resolution so I kept going. A tribute to the author. :)
The story follows Kate, an archaeologist, who finds that a seemingly routine dig is in fact the beginning of a nightmare, and Michael, a film producer who is unwittingly caught up in the action. And that action spirals outwards, touching almost everyone who crosses their paths, as it becomes clear that the archaeological dig has turned up a good deal more than a few artefacts. You're caught up in the story, and you can't stop reading. Hughes excels at setting the mood, whether it's sexual tension, a sense of creeping evil, or outright violence. There are also a good many laugh-out-loud moments.
What really sets NORTHMAN apart, though, is the quality of the writing. The characters are vividly-drawn and convincing. You can believe in Kate, grieving a past loss, and Michael, floundering amidst the debris of a broken marriage. The supporting characters are engaging too, from the kindly, avuncular Weatherall to Peterson, a no-nonsense ex-pilot who has to abandon his preconceived notions when he finds himself caught up in events. Hughes also uses language to magnificent effect throughout. Take this, for instance:
`She stood and turned to the solitary window in the room to disperse the disturbing feeling of being on the edge of something unreasonable, something that could not be dissected and laid out on cold white tiles of logic.'
The twist at the end is brilliant, taking up the theme of Time that runs through the novel, and then turning it in an entirely new, and unexpected, direction.
NORTHMAN is a page-turner with both brains and a heart, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
In between all this was the "Dig", and from amateur experience I know archaeology isn't as glamorous as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but muddy, backbreaking work for little reward. Then it started coming all together, and got really...interesting...
Loved the idea, the writing, the places, the people, the RAF blokes, and finally the end...well I can't say too much and give the game away, because you really should read it for yourselves...
If you are of a nervous disposition, I'd recommend reading it on a sunny afternoon in the garden with a Sangria or Pimms, however, if you can manage it, best on a cold, windy, rainy night with the branches whipping the window glass...and a glass of whisky...
Most recent customer reviews
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