Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Faithful by SM Freedman

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist




For Agent Josh Metcalf, memories are ghosts. They are blood-soaked backpacks and the smell of strawberry Chap Stick. Josh is haunted by a little girl who went missing his first summer on the force. Decades later his search has become an obsession, and he's pinned the photos of hundreds of missing children to his wall of tears. All the children had psychic abilities. All the cases went cold -- with no witnesses, no useful tips, and no children ever recovered. Until a woman gets injured trying to stop an abduction, and Josh comes face to face with his personal ghost.
For Rowan Wilson, a meteorite hunter for NASA's Spaceguard program, memories are lies. The childhood she thought she knew has been erased, leaving a black hole in its place. New recollections are flaring to life: men dressed like priests, a ranch in the mountains, mind control, and rape. Each new memory draws her closer to one of the other missing children, Sumner Macey; and to I Fidele, the underground organization for whom kidnapping is just the beginning.
For Sumner, memories have become weapons. He's sharpened each of his with surgical precision: the ranch, the doctrine, the mind-wash, and the murders. He's eager to slice at the black sludge pumping through I Fidele's heart, desperate to cripple those who stole his childhood.
To I Fidele, non-psychics are cockroaches in need of extermination, an inferior species destroying the earth. They're ready to enforce eugenics on a global scale. If they succeed, only those faithful to their doctrine will survive. Crossing several genres, The Faithful will appeal to anyone who enjoys supernatural mysteries; high-tech, edge-of-your-seat suspense flavored with paranormal elements; thrillers involving psychics, occult and high stakes action/adventure; tied up with a depth and humor usually reserved for works of literary fiction.
 
Where to Purchase The Faithful



 


Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist.
Synopsis
For Agent Josh Metcalf, memories are ghosts. They are blood-soaked backpacks and the smell of strawberry Chap Stick. Josh is haunted by a little girl who went missing his first summer on the force. Decades later his search has become an obsession, and he's pinned the photos of hundreds of missing children to his wall of tears. All the children had psychic abilities. All the cases went cold -- with no witnesses, no useful tips, and no children ever recovered. Until a woman gets injured trying to stop an abduction, and Josh comes face to face with his personal ghost.
For Rowan Wilson, a meteorite hunter for NASA's Spaceguard program, memories are lies. The childhood she thought she knew has been erased, leaving a black hole in its place. New recollections are flaring to life: men dressed like priests, a ranch in the mountains, mind control, and rape. Each new memory draws her closer to one of the other missing children, Sumner Macey; and to I Fidele, the underground organization for whom kidnapping is just the beginning.
For Sumner, memories have become weapons. He's sharpened each of his with surgical precision: the ranch, the doctrine, the mind-wash, and the murders. He's eager to slice at the black sludge pumping through I Fidele's heart, desperate to cripple those who stole his childhood.
To I Fidele, non-psychics are cockroaches in need of extermination, an inferior species destroying the earth. They're ready to enforce eugenics on a global scale. If they succeed, only those faithful to their doctrine will survive. Crossing several genres, The Faithful will appeal to anyone who enjoys supernatural mysteries; high-tech, edge-of-your-seat suspense flavored with paranormal elements; thrillers involving psychics, occult and high stakes action/adventure; tied up with a depth and humor usually reserved for works of literary fiction.
Where to Purchase The Faithful


The Author 

S.M. Freedman is a top-ranked Amazon author in the Mystery, Thriller and Suspense categories, and a member of the WorldWiseWriters group. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, two children and a giant orange cat.

She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and spent years as a private investigator and business owner.

Inspired by authors of many different genres (favorites include Sue Grafton, Diana Gabaldon, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins and Lawrence Hill, to name a few) she eventually turned back to her first love: writing.

The Faithful, a paperback and kindle Amazon Bestseller in both the US and the UK, and a Quarter Finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is her debut novel. She's currently working on the sequel.
 

Book Review -- The Faithful by S.M. Freedman


The FaithfulThe Faithful by S.M. Freedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a compelling tale that brings together characters dwelling on emotional trauma with paranormal psychic powers. There are different remarkable characters, which each demand the reader's attention, and the plot wonderfully combines the different threads. We brgin with agent Josh Metcalf, who is ridden with regrets, tragic guilt and haunting memories of all the different abducted children whom he couldn't save. The only common factor he is aware of in the abductions was that all the children had psychic powers. When we encounter Rowan Wilson, a NASA employee, we see someone grappling with all things she has not able to remember. Different spooky happenings around her leave her vaguely reminscent of some mysteries from the past but she is unable to put her finger down on a specific incident. Then there's Sumner, torn apart by cruelties of fate, and seething with anger and avengeful recollections. He is eager to get back at his tormentor, whatever it takes. To complete the picture is I Fidele, who follows a strange doctrine that makes him want to wipe out every single non-psychich from the face of the planet.

I took a while to come to terms with the diversity in characterisation - with such intense traits, they each propelled the story to different levels of interest. I was particularly curious about the reasoning behind the name of the antagonist - I Fidele. The pace of book does full justice to the intricacies in the plot - anything faster would leave the reader bewildered. At times, I have to admit that the plot felt a bit slackening, as if the author was caught in a dilemma as to whether she should work further on the depth of the characters, or move the story forward. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

I certainly recommend this book to lovers of paranormal thriller-dramas.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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