Jason Parent “Seeing Evil” Review

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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seeing-evil

BOOK INFO

Length: 232 Pages

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: July 13, 2015

Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

I was excited to read Jason Parent’s Seeing Evil after having heard tons of great things about his writing, so I jumped on the chance to read this book when Jason offered me a review copy. Seeing Evil is the story of Michael Turcotte, a teenager who has been in foster care since his parents death when he was just an infant. He has a close bond with Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly who was on the scene and rescued him after his parents murder-suicide.

Despite the trauma of his past, Michael is your average kid trying to make it through the trials of high school. He is a target for bullies and tries to keep to himself, but he is viciously attacked one day and the attack changes his life forever. After the attack Michael has a vision. It seems like a random dream brought on by the aftermath of his savage attack, but it feels all to real to Michael. He tries to warn the staff at his school and even begs Samantha to do something, but everyone thinks it is just a remnant of the anger and fear he felt from his attack. When he witness his vision unfold in real life, Michael realizes his life will never be the same. Although Samantha doesn’t believe Michael’s visions are real initially, once they come true, she has no choice but to believe him. While the stories of Michael’s visions make most of his classmates afraid of him, fellow outcast Tessa Masterson is drawn to Michael for a chance to glimpse her future. What Michael sees will lead him and Sam into a dangerous quest for answers that brings them face to face with a ruthless killer.

I have to commend Jason Parent for not holding anything back in Seeing Evil. There are plenty of vicious scenes in this story from Tessa’s heartbreaking interactions with her stepfather and the stomach-churning attack Michael endures at the hands of his school’s most ruthless bullies. While reading that particular scene, I was expecting things to go badly for Michael right from the start, but I didn’t expect that level of depravity.

Parent does a great job describing the relationship between Sam and Michael. Ever since Sam rescued Michael, she has kept in touch with him and it is obvious they have a close bond with each other since that fateful day. Michael views her as a mother figure and the one person who has always been there to keep him safe, even as he bounced from foster home to foster home. They are both similar in that they are distant and stick to themselves, but it is obvious they both care for each other, even if they don’t admit it out loud. Tessa Masterson is a character readers will become attached to early. As a result of her stepfather’s cruelty, Tessa’s self-confidence is obliterated and the isolation imposed on her means she has no friends and is avoided by the other students who view her only as the “weird girl”. Tessa’s story is heartbreaking and I found myself rooting for her to escape the horrors of her day-to-day life.

Parent’s antagonist in Seeing Evil is one of the most frightening characters I have read in a while and shows that everyday people are every bit as terrifying as any ghost, monster or supernatural entity. He has a warped sense of morality and rules that he feels everyone should follow and if they don’t, he feels it is his responsibility to punish them. What makes him so terrifying is his ability to blend in to society and his inability to feel remorse when he commits his horrible acts.

I really enjoyed Seeing Evil, but there were a few things that didn’t quite click for me. Michael’s visions are a central part of the story, but it doesn’t feel like there is any real explanation given for them. A lot of times people who claim to be able to see the future either experience this ability at a young age or claim they have always had it. However, Michael’s visions seemingly come out of nowhere. Are they result of the violence he endured? Is there some kind of hereditary connection? Is it supernatural? I realize some people may like not knowing the cause for the visions and the author most likely wanted the cause to remain unexplained, but it was a little too ambiguous for me. I also would have liked to see a little more of the antagonist’s back story through his own eyes. Parent does a good job of giving clues to readers about the character’s past and we do get sections from the killer’s point of view, but it would have been interesting to know what caused this character to develop such a warped view of the world.

There are a lot of books out there that incorporate the ability to see the future or experience the past, but what helps Seeing Evil stand out is Jason Parent’s great action scenes, brutal descriptions of Michael’s visions, and a cast of interesting characters. There were a few minor issues for me while reading Seeing Evil, but overall, it is an enjoyable thriller that will appeal to fans of many different genres and Jason Parent is definitely an author to watch. This is the first book of Jason’s I have read, but I definitely consider myself a fan and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to check out an excerpt from Seeing Evil and a chance to win a copy of Jason’s work and a Seeing Evil bookmark!

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Jason Parent’s Official Website

Red Adept Publishing’s Official Website

Purchase Seeing Evil: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Red Adept Publishing

jason-parent-tour-graphic1

Please join in the fun and keep the momentum going by using the hashtag: #SeeingEvil,  #suspense #thriller #crimefiction #supernatural

Seeing Evil Synopsis

Fate in plain sight.

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.

Praise for Seeing Evil

“… Parent writes in such a fluid, mesmerizing and realistic way that I found I couldn’t stop!” – My So-Called Book Reviews

Seeing Evil is one of those books that takes off at a fast pace and doesn’t slow down.” – Carries Book Reviews

“Jason Parent tortures us right alongside his characters. The world building is excellent and very real.” – I’m a Voracious Reader

“…one of the best suspense thrillers I have read in a very long time. In lesser hands it would have been a decent read but the author’s skill in setting the scene, character development, and story telling makes this a far superior novel.” – Book Nutter’s Book Reviews

Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There’s no denying Parent has talent.” Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, Boom Town, and Abram’s Bridge

“Wow! That was just brilliant! Every single chapter straight from the very beginning had me gripped.” – Andrew Lennon, author of Keith and A Life to Waste, a Novel of Violence and Horror

“Superbly fast paced from beginning to end meaning you will not want to put it down. A plot that will keep you guessing to the very end but not in a confusing way. Brilliant characters that gel together perfectly. A bloody good book.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

“This is one seriously entertaining, thought provoking read.” – Adam Light, author of Taken, Toes Up, and The Corpus Corruptum

“This book was a police procedural/thriller/psychological horror story-it doesn’t neatly fit into any category except for: ‘damn fine read’.” – Char’s Horror Corner

“The entire story was strong, driven, and merciless in all regard from beginning to end. Even when you think you know where it’s going, there’s yet another–logical–twist.” Horror After Dark

Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension. The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent’s writing here is top notch – sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.” – Evans Light, author of Arboreatum, Screamscapes, and Harmlessly Insane

About Jason Parent

jasonparent

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.

When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit Jason on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.

Excerpt

Stepping back so as not to alarm the child, Samantha scanned Michael for wounds, but she couldn’t find the source of the blood. She hoped it wasn’t Michael’s, but she saw no evidence, no tracks or prints, that suggested Michael had been anywhere near the bodies. Then again, shouldn’t he be in a crib or something? What’s he doing in here? There’s no part of this that he should have been forced to witness.

Samantha moved in for a closer look. His hands rested on his thighs, the blood on them dry and cracking on his skin. Something protruded from beneath them, something dark and metallic.

Samantha gasped. “Michael, don’t move, okay?”

Michael seemed oblivious to her presence, swaying to a beat only he could hear. It was as though she wasn’t part of the world he was seeing. Slowly, she reached for the object with the caution of one taking a bone from a snarling dog. Only Michael wasn’t snarling. He seemed uninterested in her, still rocking and staring blankly through her, unblinking and locked on that same focal point.

Maybe he’s in shock. Maybe he does understand what happened here. His unresponsiveness was certainly beyond mere willful ignorance. Samantha didn’t think he would notice if she lit a firecracker in front of him. He seemed out of touch with reality. For the moment, Samantha preferred him that way.

With a hand as steady as a surgeon’s, Samantha reached for the pistol Michael was huddled over like a bear protecting her cub. She avoided contact with him, fearful of what would happen if she disturbed his trance-like state. Her fingers treaded over the barrel, searching for its grip.

She pulled the handgun, a black Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, from beneath Michael. The barrel brushed against his thigh. With cold, empty eyes bulging open like those of the drowning, Michael gazed into Samantha’s. She felt exposed, as if with only a look, the child could delve into the recesses of her mind, revealing her every secret. The thought terrified her. So did Michael.

With reflexes beyond one of his age, Michael grabbed the gun with both hands. Samantha quickly pulled it away. Unnerved as she was, she still had Michael’s safety at the forefront of her mind. She removed the weapon from the boy’s reach, at all times conscious of its threat. When she found the safety smeared in blood, she clicked it on and breathed a sigh of relief. As she’d expected, there had been a bullet in the chamber. She dropped the gun into an open evidence bag held by Tagliamonte.

Michael’s eyes remained on her. They were blue and cloudy like the sky before a rainbow, a fire as bright as the sun burning behind them. His mouth creaked open as though tiny gears controlled its laborious motion. When his chin dropped so low it nearly rested on his throat, a sound, low and indistinguishable at first, emitted from somewhere deep within the boy. As it amplified, its sharp clamor made Samantha’s blood ice within her veins.

At once, Samantha knew that not only did Michael comprehend what had happened to his parents, but also that he felt it in the worst sort of way. His wail was ghostly and ghastly, the cry of one seized by agony. Samantha was afraid, both for him and of him, and of what such trauma might cause him to become. Backing away, not knowing how to comfort the lost child, Samantha knew it would not be the last she would see of Michael.

 Giveaway

Sign up to enter to win one of five books from Jason Parent! There is one print copy of Seeing Evil, one print copy of Bad Apples 2 collection, 1 e-book of What Hides Within, and one e-book of Dead Roses. All winners get Seeing Evil bookmarks! Random draw chooses winner. First name drawn receives first prize, and so on. Any giveaway questions may be forwarded to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Enter to win at the link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIz/?

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Comments
  1. Jason says:

    Thanks for the review and for participating in the Blog Tour!

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