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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2022
  • 9781778237300 B0B3X94VY7
  • 336 pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2022
  • 978-1778237317
  • 356 pages
  • $13.99
Alex Loch
Author, Illustrator
Once Upon A Predator (Dark Amusements #1)
Alex Loch, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Publish)

“A real page turner. Read it in one sitting. Can’t wait for the next one. Write FASTER please!” —Lynsay Sands

Picture this…
A lovely fall day where the reds, oranges and yellows of the turning leaves makes the quiet residential street look like it’s on fire. Movement to the left draws your eye. Someone is standing in the middle of a yard talking to a woman framed in the window of a two-story home. They’re completely wrapped up in their conversation. The woman’s expression is unreadable, but the man’s chuckle reinforces the assumption they know one another.
 
Look again, closer this time…
The sweat soaked strands of hair clinging to the woman’s forehead, the erratic rise and fall of her chest as her breath hitches, the intermittent shaking rippling through her body, and the death grip she has on the fork in her right hand.
The man standing directly in front of her is not so much smiling but grinning. An overly wide, ear to ear grin that chases away the illusion this is an innocent chat.
The only barrier between them is a flimsy screen, which is being peeled back as something in the man’s hand slides along the window frame…
 
This is just the beginning…
Local law enforcement is baffled as more bloodshed hits their small community, one after another. And their only consistent lead is a local named Sam Turner who allegedly survived an attack years ago and keeps showing up in all the wrong places.

A psychological thriller, woven with a thread of horror, that will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Reviews
The first in a promising new thriller trilogy, Loch’s captivating debut follows Samantha “Sam” Turner, a woman determined to capture the knife-wielding killer plaguing her hometown of Murphy, jokingly known as “The Best Little Hellhole Anywhere.” After two near fatal encounters with the murderer, including one that turns on Sam’s inspired handling of a fork, the resourceful hero teams up with fellow survivor Tim and her trusty golden retriever Buddy to bring the murderer to justice before he claims any more lives.

Loch tells the story with polish, power, and welcome senses of tension and momentum, though it’s the characters that most strongly set it apart. The daughter of an ex-police chief, Sam is a fighter who has faced more than her fair share of trauma, especially as friends, family, and loved ones’ lives are upended or even destroyed by the killer, known as “Charlie,” whose reign of terror is as psychological as it is violent.Thanks to her own troubled past, plus the fact that she happens to be around wherever Charlie strikes, many–including the new police chief– suspect that Sam must have some involvement with the murders.

Though a likable heroine, the ever-resilient Sam is gripped by a savior complex that goads her into bold, even reckless behavior as she pursues Charlie and disregards the toll this takes on her physical and mental health, That makes for exciting scenes–Sam’s as wild a wildcard as Charlie, another sharply delineated character. The killer’s creepy charisma makes him fascinating, sometimes even stirring reader empathy despite his heinous and gory crimes. A suggestion of the supernatural complicates the story, with Charlie appearing to know everything about his victims’ personal lives and Sam experiencing what appear to be prophetic dreams. All of these elements spin a riveting new thriller, which will make readers excited for the next two installments of the trilogy as well.

Takeaway: This gripping thriller pits a resilient small-town woman against a serial killer.

Great for fans of: Jennifer Hillier’s Jar of Hearts, Stacy Willingham’s A Flicker in the Dark.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2022
  • 9781778237300 B0B3X94VY7
  • 336 pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2022
  • 978-1778237317
  • 356 pages
  • $13.99

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