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Trapped: A Novel of Terror Paperback – November 8, 2010
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From the Author
JA: Thanks for taking time to answer some questions, Jack.
Jack: I've heard of you. You write those chick novels, right?
JA: I write about a female cop who chases serial killers. Some folks think they're pretty scary. Both men and women enjoy the series, but it's a bit harder-edged than the average suspense novel.
Jack: Aren't you the guy that visited 600 bookstores in one summer? Signed thousands of books?
JA: That's me.
Jack: I haven't seen your name on any bestseller lists.
JA: So, how would you describe AFRAID?
Jack: I tried to write a thriller that included every kind of fear possible. Fear of the dark, or being chased, of drowning, of authority, of burning, of losing a loved one, of pain, of disfigurement...and, of course, fear of being horribly murdered.
JA: What's the plot?
Jack: A helicopter crashes near the small town of Safe Haven, Wisconsin. It's so tiny it has a population of 904. But not for long.
JA: So the helicopter lets something loose in town?
Jack: Something horrible. The town can't defend itself either--no police force. Soon it's quarantined, and everyone is fighting for their lives.
JA: I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy of AFRAID. It scared the hell out of me.
Jack: Thanks. I'm predicting that at least 25% of people who start the book won't be able to finish it because it's too frightening. It gave me nightmares when I was writing it.
JA: There certainly are some memorable scares.
Jack: I didn't use any chapters in the book. My goal was to go from one high point to another without any breaks. I hope it worked.
JA: It worked for me. You call it "technohorror." What is that?
Jack: The technothriller genre is about fusing modern day science and technology with big thrills. Michael Crichton perfected the form, which has been used to great success by Dan Brown, James Rollins, Steve Berry, and many others. Technohorror views technology in a more sinister way.
JA: Do you think the scenario in AFRAID could happen?
Jack: I wouldn't be surprised if it already has.
JA: You've sort of come out of nowhere. Care to share your writing background?
Jack: It's probably similar to yours. Bitten by the writing bug at a young age, getting a lot of rejections, finally landing a two-book deal with a big publishing house.
JA: I like the Afraid Game on your website.
Jack: Thanks. It's a fun little Flash thing I did. People seem to enjoy it.
JA: So what's next for Jack Kilborn?
Jack: I wrote two other horror novels, TRAPPED and ENDURANCE, which are just as intense as AFRAID. I also wrote the novel DRACULAS with some good friends. It's a balls-to-the-wall zombie book.
JA: Zombies? Aren't draculas vampires?
Jack: Read it and see for yourself. These monsters make zombies look like your grandma.
JA: My grandma is dead.
Jack: The living dead?
JA: Getting back to AFRAID, I liked it so much I'd be happy to blurb it.
Jack: I'm sort of holding out for blurbs from bestselling authors, if you don't mind. No offense.
JA: No offense taken. Maybe you'd like to blurb one of my books, if you have time.
Jack: One of those chick books? Sure. But I can't promise I'll like it.
JA: CHERRY BOMB has a four page sex scene, several torture-murders, and an extended female fist fight.
Jack: I'll give you my address so you can send me a copy.
About the Author
Jack Kilborn is the pen name of J.A. Konrath, who has written seven Jack Daniels thrillers (Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel, Cherry Bomb, and Shaken.) Under the name Jack Kilborn, he wrote the horror novels Afraid, Trapped, Endurance, and Draculas.
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Top customer reviews
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I rated this book 5 stars because the author did an exceptional job doing what he set out to do. Created a bone chilling read with believable (though not always likable) characters. I actually kept reading for a couple of chapters after I no longer wanted to know what would happen next. Readers of horror (who can tolerate cannibals) will enjoy this fast paced, well written book.
I would definitely consider something else by this author.
As for the storyline, it started out o.k. but quickly devolved into nonsense and too much. Too many random things are thrown together. It actually got ridiculous and, not only could you not believe any of it but you couldn't even follow the concept.
Because of the violent, bloody nature of this book, while I will read Jack Kilborn again, I will more than likely not bother with this series of novels. Way too much.
Oh yeah, it was not scary. Just ridiculously bloody.
If I could give 0 stars, I would. If I thought I'd have a reasonable chance of getting my money back, I'd ask for a refund. I could see this appealing to 12-year olds, & I can see it scaring people who have never previously watched a horror movie or even read a real horror novel, but for anyone who is a veteran of the genre, this doesn't even rise to the level of "substandard."
Sara and Martin run Second Chance Center, a place for juvenile offenders instead of sending them to kiddy jail. Unfortunately, as funding has been cut, the place is about to close. As one last hurrah, Martin thinks its a FANTASTIC idea to take 6 juvenile offenders from the inner city out to a deserted island 2 hours from civilization for the weekend. Obviously, Martin's a moron. And did I mention that he and Sara also have an infant boy they bring along for the trip? Oh yea, we are working with a couple rocket scientists here.
The group lands on the island and in a blink, we are sitting at a campfire where Martin tells the disturbing story of a Confederate Prison (right on this very island!) where the conditions were so horrible and food so scarce that the prisoners resorted to cannibalism. Sara reassures the kids that it's just a scary story, although the name of the doctor is rather familiar to her...
Immediately after the story, Martin disappears and Sara thinks he's just being a jerk to enhance his story. (In addition to the center closing, they are also in the midst of a divorce.) After a long trek through the woods, they find him tied upside down to a tree with a nail-infused ball gag. And then the screaming begins.
This story has it all - "deserted" island, cannibals running around carrying utensils and salt, a crazy doctor running experiments, and a lovely twist. There were some parts that made me sigh - I mean, seriously, that had to be the world's best baby was strapped to Sara's chest nearly the entire time without making a peep - but overall, it was a totally enjoyable read. To be honest, after reading this, I think the author should give up the Jack Daniels mysteries - this was SO much better!
[Disclosure - I did not read the first draft too. Just didn't feel compelled to read (mostly) the same thing twice.]