“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews Jackals by Stuart R. Brogan, 243 pages published by Midgard Books; 1 edition January 23, 2017.
From the aftermath of a brutal massacre at a rural police station two survivors leave behind a swathe of bodies and a cryptic sigil painted on the wall in blood.
A disgraced Detective Inspector begrudgingly starts to investigate the crime scene but as the facts begin to emerge the trail appears to lead into the highest echelons of power making the policeman himself the next target.
As the conspiracy spirals ever deeper and with no-one to trust, both prime suspect and policeman are forced into an unlikely alliance to prove, not only their innocence but the existence of a force so ingrained into our society it could rewrite the very fabric of human nature.
Alright, I just finished Stuart R. Brogan’s Jackals, and it’s a rather grizzly, quite enjoyable, romp of suspenseful horror. Grizzly in the best possible way of course. This is my first taste of Brogan brand fiction and it did the trick. Keeping me entertained throughout while striking a few nerves, also in a good way.
Clocking in at less than 250 pages this beast gets rolling quick, with very few moments of down time to recoup and catch your breath. Which is perfect, because for a book about a couple being hunted for what’s essentially sport, down time would be a knife to the throat.
First things first, the negatives. After a great, brutal opening scene the main narrative kicks off, that being a couple normal folks being picked out at random and attacked. Piggybacking off of the opening scene, this actually ups the ante and sets a fantastic tone, but it also sets up a choice from our antagonists that seems to stretch the boundaries of believability, given the circumstances, which I won’t really get into as I don’t like to give up too much.
I think that your involvement level with Jackals will depend on a) how you take this choice and b) if you can get past this choice if you’re like me and see it as a bit of a head scratcher. I was able to get past it pretty quickly as the fires along propelled by jet fuel.
Secondly, and this a personal pet peeve of mine, I greatly dislike the phrase “once and for all”. It’s something that children say when they’re roleplaying cops and robbers and such. It’s not a phrase that adults say, especially intelligent adults, so I don’t feel that adult characters that I am supposed to take seriously should be using it. Children characters get a pass of course. I counted six uses of “once and for all” within the middle 50% of the book, all spoken by prominent leader/ powerful types. It’s something that takes me out of a read.
Besides that the dialog is pretty solid. The cast of characters are all fun, and mostly unique from one another and with their own bit of charm. You have a strong female character to root for and she feels genuine. Throw in a handful of scenarios that play out totally different then what was expected and with a gnarly amount of intense, visceral confrontations and what you walk away with is a satisfying read.
I had a great time and I’m confident that my kindle will cross paths with the work of Stuart R. Brogan again.
The positive well outweighed my minor grieviences. I’d say Jackals is worth your time, check it out.
And If I had to give it a number
I had a great deal of fun with this book, I’m going to say 4.5/5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.
About Stuart R. Brogan
Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing , Aliens , Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson , Clive Barker. Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.
Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury , UK with his long suffering Wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”
And while you’re here, check out The Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, stop by and say hello.