3.5 out of 5 Stars
Thank you to Giselle with Xpresso Book Tours for having me on the tour today!
The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.
For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.
Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.
“The place was coming apart. It would eventually either crumble or be torn down. Just like all buildings, it had been slowly falling apart from the moment it was built.”
This book is not for those who can’t handle gore!! Such an intense read. I am definitely not one of the feint of heart. I have more than one person in my life in the medical profession, and I have heard some crazy and graphic stories of different situations…. usually around the dinner table because, where else do you tell stories like that?! But, this book even had ME cringing!! (of course the majority of it HAD to deal with my least favourite subjects, fingernails and eyeballs…. REALLY, MARTY?? WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT?! You definitely know how to make a girl want to learn how to read with her eyes closed!!
That aside, WHAT A WILD RIDE! I would have rated it a bit higher, but there was a bit of repetition in the way it was narrated that got a little grating after a while. It would jump from one character’s point of view to another every couple of paragraphs (which was fine), the problem was that it would backtrack sometimes to have the same thing happen, almost like a “Last week on this show….” sort of recap…. except it JUST. HAPPENED. I understand that the point was to tie the two narrations together (one character goes out a door… pan to next character who SEES that character go out the door) …. notice how I said “pan to”. It was funny to see that Thornley had a background in film as I feel that this book has a definite screenplay vibe to it! IT WOULD MAKE A GREAT MOVIE!!
The characters were all great and had very distinct and well planned out personalities and backstories. I loved the way that Thornley included everyone’s information on how they were hurt to find themselves in this trial to begin with, without it feeling forced or just thrown in to get the information out there! But, the ending did feel a little bit rushed to me.
I would absolutely recommend this one, especially if you’re a fan of medical thrillers!
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Marty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.
As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.
So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.
Painless is Best Served with a Hummingbird Cocktail
- 1 fluid ounce rum cream liqueur
- 1 fluid ounce coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 fluid ounce milk
- 1/2 fluid ounce strawberry flavored syrup
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup crushed ice
- In a blender, combine rum cream liqueur, coffee liqueur, milk and strawberry syrup. Add the banana and crushed ice.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into glasses and serve.