G.J. Griffiths's Reviews > Killer's Forest

Killer's Forest by Ellington Norris
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bookshelves: historical-fiction, my-reviews, thriller, ya

While there was a lot to commend in this psychological thriller, set in the 18th century, there were also several points that prevented me from rating it very highly. I liked the basic premise behind the main character, Al, becoming obsessed by death and dying after he had watched a public hanging, having been encouraged by his father who was a prominent citizen of a colonial town in Pennsylvania. The way that Al’s character continues to become more and more warped is quite well done and intriguing to the reader. However, I found much of the writing simplistic and quite pedantic, lacking flair and description for both the settings and the other main characters: Will, Johnny and Mary-Sue. There was not enough to make me feel that I was in the supposed, historical, place and time the action was meant to be taking place. For me, there was too much “telling” and not enough “showing” of places, people and events.

Too much of the plot had me asking “how?” and did not make sense: for example how do you “lure” two large and fierce predators to a chosen place in the forest? It lacked necessary detail to make it believable. At the same time as much of the narrative was too mechanical and lacking emotion, like a shopping list, there were quite a few confusing uses of descriptive words that did not make logical sense: e.g. “transitioned” (electron transfer between atomic shells!) where changed or moved would have done? The manuscript could also bear some attention from an editor because there were several typos; some confusion of past and present tense, within the same paragraph or page. There was even on one page, a reference to the same horse as a “call” (calm?) mare at the top of the page, but which had become a stallion, by the time you read to the bottom of the page!

Notwithstanding my previous criticisms there is an exciting, intriguing and suitably disturbing psychological thriller within these pages, but it just requires some close editorial attention before publication.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 8, 2019 – Finished Reading
January 9, 2019 – Shelved
January 9, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 9, 2019 – Shelved as: my-reviews
January 9, 2019 – Shelved as: thriller
January 9, 2019 – Shelved as: ya

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