“The past is never far away.
Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.
Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.
Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.
With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.
But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.
Can Michael ever escape the past?
Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?
And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?”
It’s rare you will find a book as gut-wrenching and emotionally disturbing as this one. This is not an easy read by a long stretch, it normally takes a lot to unsettle me, but I was so moved by this I had to stop for breaks, and thought long and hard about the book for a while after finishing.
When Michael wakes up in hospital paralysed from the waist down he has no memory of how he got there, in fact he has no memory at all. When odious Detective Inspector Carver turns up Michael learns he is at the centre of a murder investigation, accused of stabbing his girlfriend Becky to death. Michael has no recollection at all and has to go solely on the words of others. Still recovering from a serious head injury, and under the influence of some heavy-duty painkillers Michael lies in a hospital bed experiencing vivid dreams, flashbacks, and hallucinations. Time is running out for Michael as he faces being transferred from hospital to prison on remand, but slowly his dreams and visions help him to recover his lost memories and helps him unlock the door to the past. Unfortunately for Michael, this is a door a lot of powerful and influential people want to keep closed.
When I started The Abattoir of Dreams I wasn’t sure if it would be right for me, in the first few chapters when the reader first gets to experience Michael’s visions and hallucinations there is quite a supernatural feel to the book, however this was only for the start of the book with Michael’s imagination in overdrive as his memory begins to come back to him in strange ways. After a leap of faith on my part, I quickly got into this book, and although I found the subject difficult, the ghoulish part of me could not tear myself away from it for long. Whilst there are a few graphic and distressing scenes, the author has written them with sensitivity, there is no voyeuristic violence purely for the shock factor in there.
The characters are the perfect contrast of the dark and light side of human nature. 50% of them I wanted to hug, and move into my spare room. The other 50%? Well let’s just say it’s a good job these are fictional characters as I would be hunting them down as we speak! My heart absolutely broke for Michael and his childhood friend Liam, and it made me glad I could give my own son a kiss and cuddle after finishing reading.
The ending was a very bittersweet one, but is synonymous with the whole story, as every good thing Michael has in life is somehow tainted with bad.
This book is not for the faint hearted, due to the upsetting subject matter. I think the most disturbing thing is though, that whilst this is not a true story, it has roots in real life stories from all over where systematic child abuse has been rife. I only hope stories like this give other survivors the courage and hope to speak up.
It’s no surprise that this book gets a massive five fat stars from me, I believe this will be one of the biggest books of 2017.
About the Author
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, published by Bloodhound Books.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar,
and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.