Friday, 23 November 2012

Trial #1322 on trial

Today, I've noticed that Awesome Indies has posted a review for my book, and to celebrate the good news, I've reduced the price to 99c/75p for this weekend. I've addressed the issues the reviewer mentioned and hope you'll give it a go.

Here's the review:

The premise for this books is original and well-planned.  The main setting for the story is an anonymous and rather spartan hospital reminiscent of those found in the middle of the last century, but with a few modern concessions such as internet connection, a pool room and mobile phone reception.  A sense of menace permeates the building, giving the reader an uneasy feeling of something not quite right.  Very good indeed.
Pacing is mainly good, but with a slightly flat section when some of the participants leave the drug trial, leaving the three main characters, Laura, Natalie and Jason to continue with it on their own.  The build up to the finale, which is extremely fast paced, is very good, with dramatic and violent action that will keep readers on the edge of their seats right to the end of the book.
Characterisation is good, enabling the reader to understand the relationships between the main characters and their interactions with supporting characters that enter, then leave the story.  The protagonists have the usual characteristics normally attributed the young adults in their twenties. You can believe in their motivations and actions and while initially they are not particularly sympathetic characters, by the end of the story they have developed considerably.  The way Ryan Butcher gradually discloses the antagonists in the story is subtle and very clever.  The reader is kept guessing who and what the antagonists are almost to the end.  Tensions between the main characters themselves are realistic and well-portrayed,  their internal thoughts and feelings are clearly shown throughout the narrative.
Writing style and content
Ryan Butcher’s writing style is punchy and hard-hitting with no flowery descriptions whatsoever, which is perfectly suited to the themes explored in the book. Dialogue is natural and appropriate for the age and circumstances of the characters.
Point of View
Although Ryan Butcher assures me that he wants to keep his to his current POV strategy, points of view are not clearly delineated throughout the book making it necessary to re-read certain passages to discover who is speaking or through whose eyes we are seeing the scene.  In my view this is the most serious issue with this book.  It would be much easier for the reader if scenes are seen through the POV of one character only and it would help enormously if he could leave at least one blank line
or  indicate  POV/scene changes by using
between the various POVs.
Grammar, spelling and punctuation
Although the story is set in London, quite a few Americanisms are used throughout the narrative.  For example,  ‘stomped’, ‘engaged in a chat with her crush’,  ‘Gee, thanks.’  ‘Bang of sorrow’. Nothing major, but it does grate a little. There are quite a few typos and towards the end of the book there are sentences that do not make sense.  This is a relatively minor editing issue and it should be possible to edit without taking the book down from Amazon.
This is a really original thriller with some excellent writing, particularly the interaction between the various characters and the build up to the exciting and explosive climax.  I enjoyed the read very much indeed  and it would not take too much for this book to reach the standard required for inclusion in the Awesome Indies catalogue.  In it’s present state, however, it doesn’t meet the requirements for the list.
3 stars

It's available for a special price this weekend:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Trial #1322 a medical/psychological thriller

Original and thought provoking. And the best of all: currently being read by a film producer! Fingers crossed!

 Available on Amazon and Smashwords (50% sampling option)

If you are being terrorised, and have nowhere to go, revenge keeps you going.
When Laura, Natalie, and Jason take part in a medical trial, they're in it for the money.
But they have no idea what they have really signed up for. Out of nowhere, love interests, jealousy, and arguments appear. Emotions are smouldering under the surface, breaking through the cracks, before everything takes a turn for the worse, and the brutality of the trial shows its ugly face. Somewhere along the way, the three seem to lose grip on where reality stops and imagination begins.

This is a full length novel of 270 pages.


5 stars
This is a gripping and fast-paced medical/psychological thriller that is a real page-turner.
Laura, Natalie and Jason take part in a medical trial for the money. But they have no idea what they have really signed up for. Love interests, jealousy, and arguments appear. Emotions are smouldering under the surface, breaking through the cracks, before everything takes a turn for the worse, and the brutality of the trial shows its ugly face.
I thought the prologue and early parts of the book were a bit difficult to get into. The author could have done a better job in grabbing his reader, but things soon picked up and my interest didn't wane.
The three central characters are initially unsympathetic, but perceptions change as the novel progresses. I found it highly interesting and challenging, with some solid medical background and research on how clinical trials run.
The author shows immense promise with this debut novel and I would be interested in reading more from him. 

4 stars
This novel is a medical / psychological thriller set in a hospital where drug trials take place. Three friends, Laura, Natalie and Jason, have signed up for several days participation in a drugs trial in return for a large amount of cash. The novel raises the question, how far are you prepared to go for money? And the answer here is, a very long way indeed. The writing style in Trial #1322 is immediate and colloquial and the reader jumps around inside the heads of Laura, Natalie and Jason which could be confusing but the author manages to stay in control. Consequently the plot moves along with good pace and a strong forward drive. As the plot unfolds you get to know the characters very well and although each has some very unappealing traits you find yourself developing some sympathy for them too. A good novel from Ryan Butcher and I shall be keeping a look out for what comes next.

4 stars
This is a good read, with interesting characters and an original premise.
Three friends take part in a drug trial for money. The drugs they are testing are mind-altering and it is not long before rifts appear between not only the three friends, but the other four participants in the trial. After a slowish start, the action really picks up as the characters' perceptions of themselves, and the other people involved, become confused - which is also confusing for the reader as it becomes difficult to differentiate between truth and illusion.
I think this book is well-written, with great characterisation and an eplosive, gripping ending, but an edit to clarify points of view of the main chracters and t eliminate a few typos would lift it to another level.

4 stars
I was given this book free to read and review.
Initially I could not see the purpose of the prologue but at the end it all made sense and a nice touch. At first this was slow going and although set against the background of a trial for a new drug was more about character development than anything else and it allowed me to get a real feel for the characters. None of the characters came over as particularly sympathetic as all of them seemed to be in it just for the money. However about half way through things changed and it needed a careful read as I tried to distinguish if it was really happening or a hallucination due to the effects of the drugs being taken. Actually I never found out which but it did not really matter. Not comfortable reading as it included adult themes and considerable violence which was necessary for the plot but I did enjoy it and it made me think. The frightening thing is that it all seemed so real, enough to put anyone off volunteering for a medical trial.

4 stars
Three flat mates Natalie, Laura and Jason enter a drugs trial. Although they know exactly how much money they are getting for taking part they seem to have little or no idea of the nature of the trial. As the trial gets underway it is obvious that mind changing drugs are involved and I found it increasingly difficult to tell what was real and what was going on in the minds of the participants. As the level of violence escalated so did my sense of unreality and at the end I was left with some questions unanswered.
A compulsive and exciting if, at times, confusing read. The rather claustrophobic atmosphere of the hospital is well portrayed and the three main characters, though not particularly likeable, are believable. Overall a pacey well written psychological thriller and a promising debut novel.

4 stars
When this novel begins Laura, a music journalist, and her flat mate friends Jason and Natalie, enter a hospital for a drug trial. They are not taking part for altruistic reasons, purely for the money paid on completion of the trial. Of course they are not the only people taking part and the small group of seven soon settle into uneasy relationships. Natalie's jealousy threatens to stop the trial, but can it be stopped?
This is a very unusual and interesting novel. From the very beginning, the author makes his three central characters unsympathetic and then begins to change our perceptions of, not only them, but everyone else. Is the nurse Anna just abrupt, or is she something more sinister? Why is the ward on the next floor empty? Should the group be concerned about the locked doors? This is a gripping and thrilling medical thriller, which I was unable to put down. Overall, a really good and exciting read and I look forward to anything else by this author, who shows immense promise with this debut novel.

4 stars
A gripping and pacey thriller, with a lot of action packed into it. A clever plot which evokes suspense of both the dread and the anticipation of this situation, that readers will be tempted to turn to the end of the book to relieve their anxieties.
The book is centred on three characters who enter a drug trial to solve their money problems. Even though, they are only there for a few days, the action and pace begin from the moment they walk into the ward. Brilliantly written!
From the first chapter the reader is sucked into the eerie trial. As the plot unfolds, the reader begins to question what reality is, or is it the patients' imagination? The reader is practically living and breathing in the patient's mind, each of them trapped in their own heightened emotive states.
The plot grabbed my attention from page one, I read it in one day!


Malicious Mind the short prequel to my thriller Trial #1322 will be free this weekend.

Looks can be deceiving. Behind a well-groomed exterior lurks a monster who cannot outrun his past. Abused and neglected as a child, he blames all women for what his mother did to him.
This is a glimpse into the world of a minor character from the medical psychological thriller Trial #1322. It is to showcase the general writing and what a reader can expect, but it's only loosely related to the novel.
Contains a sample of the novel.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Nice to meet you!


I'm Ryan and I kill people brutally. My debut novel, a medical thriller, will be released soon.