I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Goners by L. Stephenson
Published by CAAB Publishing Ltd on 19 March 2021
Genres: Horror, Serial Killers, Mystery
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On the quiet island of Boatmore, it was believed that there were only two causes of death: either natural or accidental.
That is until a strange phone call, and a bloody handprint, lead Liam and his small team of paramedics to the body of a young man, still clinging to life, by the roadside. As they work to revive him, it becomes clear that whoever is responsible for such butchery does not want his victim to be saved.
As the mysterious killer continues his spree, more chilling discoveries await our rescuers and the island residents find themselves tainted by suspicion and fear.
So, grab the next ferry and witness THE GONERS, the first gripping chapter of ‘The Boatmore Butcher trilogy’
The Goners was a home run for L. Stephenson. The cover was ominous, secretive, and forewarned of the threatening shadows that lurked beneath the surface. It’s the kind of story that will become etched into your mind and you can’t put the book down until that last page has been devoured. Stephenson is a master storyteller that envelops you in atmospheric brilliance and complexity that will literally tie you up in knots. His brilliance is his reader’s weakness, and The Goners did not disappoint.
This isn’t just another Horror – it is an experience. Set on the fictional island of Boatmore, we meet a Paramedic Liam and his team, with supporting roles from police officers, coroners, and their assistants. This is an incredibly raw and gritty horror novella. This is Stephenson’s debut and let me tell you, it doesn’t read like one, it is the start of an incredibly compulsive series. I was blown away by the author’s ability to create and develop characters in such a short time frame. The further you get into the story They become meatier, more fleshed out. Reading this book is like meeting a close friend after some time – you fall into relaxed camaraderie but there’s always something ebbing throughout like an undercurrent.
Stephenson has quickly skipped to the top in writers to watch out for, his ability to set the tone of the novel is second to none. There is no beating around the bush, he hits you with that block of wood until you start paying attention.
The Goners follows the Boatmore Butcher, a moniker for the serial killer that is targeting young men and leaving them to be found in strange circumstances. Life on the island is safe, deaths are usually a result of natural causes or an accident. It’s a great place to raise children, to grow old, and most importantly to feel safe. However, bloody handprints are found, strange phone calls are being left and bodies are turning up with no clue as to who committed the deed. The author excels in triggering your imagination – the atmosphere and landscape reel you in, he kick starts your imagination, and you either chase after it or get left behind.
The paramedics and the police need to get this one tied up quickly. Often, I felt like I was lost in a forest with this story – you know that feeling you get when you aren’t too sure whether you heard leaves and twigs being crunched underfoot? Are your eyes playing tricks on you or was that really a shadow up ahead? Stephenson loves to use the misdirection tactic in his playbook, and it was delivered with such perfection.
The Goners highlights in a spectacular debut just why readers are obsessed with true crime stories. Fiction doesn’t get any better than this. It boasts an engrossing storyline, and this is a devour-in-one-sitting must.