I’m pleased to be able to share a review I submitted recently as part of the team at.
Author – Richard Godwin
Publisher – Black Jackal Books
Pages – 242
Released – 8th December 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1999785895
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Julie
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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A serial killer crucifying politicians and evading justice. A dark blood-stained legacy. Scores to settle.
‘Apostle Unbound’ is the latest release from British born author, Richard Godwin. The tale is written in the past tense and the third person. We witness the development of the plot through the eyes of several key characters, with our main protagonist being a former police officer attempting to bring down a merciless serial killer.
This book definitely hits the ground running. I think it would have helped if I had read the previous story in the series but nonetheless, there is a drip feed of backstory to help in this regard. Through the use of an abundance of literary devices, Godwin has created a fast-paced psychological thriller. We meet Frank Castle, a retired detective and his ex-colleague, Jacki Stone, who have both been deeply affected by the crimes of cold blooded killer, Karl Black, who is serving a life sentence in HMP Belmarsh. Black has a disciple in the form of Castle’s son, Elijah, who has taken up the murderer’s mantle and is still at large. We join the action as Castle gets instructions to visit Elijah’s mother.
Before I reached the section where the author mentions Jack the Ripper, I noted the Ripper-esque overtones in the modus operandi Godwin’s killers and descriptions of their cruelty and sadism isn’t for the fainthearted reader. It is a hard-hitting and shocking story and in the beginning, utterly compelling.
About a third of the way into the story, the author introduces an additional layer which gives us some insight into the motivation behind the brutal killings. I must confess to getting a tad overwhelmed with the level of brutality and confused by the mind-sets of both Black and Alijah from this point on.
I appreciated the side threads which fleshed out the characters and their personal issues as the detective team endeavour to apprehend Alijah. Castle also has his own demons to deal with, as the tale of good versus evil is played out.
As the story progressed, I felt the level of violence increased to the point where it lost some of its impact. Several murders were covered with little more than a paragraph each, which arguably felt slightly rushed but perhaps this demonstrates the detachment the killer feels for his victims?
If you like a story with lots of action and have a strong stomach, then you will doubtless appreciate this book. The ending was a bit abrupt and suggests there is scope for a sequel here. For the strong start and engagement level, I award four stars.
About the Author
Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash, Locked In Cages, Crystal On Electric Acetate, The Glass House, Android Love, Human Skin, Insincerity, and Confessions Of A Gigolo.
His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child.
He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops. You can find out more about him at his website where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.