Length: 245 Pages
Release Date: April 11, 2016
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour for Consequences
John Quick’s Consequences is based on a real-life serial killer legend from his hometown so that coupled with the synopsis for this one had me intrigued and I jumped at the chance to join this tour! Everyone has some sort of story or urban legend from when they were growing up, so it was a real treat to see an author take that inspiration and bring it to life in a novel.
John Quick’s Consequences opens with a bang, detailing a horrific crime in 1971 at the Grayson family home on the outskirts of town, near the local airbase. Judy Grayson is on the way home late from a party, worrying about how her dad is going to react after he learns she defied his wishes. She arrives home to find all the lights off in the home and the front door open, something that almost never happens. As she begins to explore the eerie darkness that has taken over the home, she gets a sense that something is not right. Everything seems fairly normal until she finds a large pool of blood. She checks all the rooms of the house before noticing the back door was open. Once she goes out there, she sees something so terrifying and brutal that it alters her life and leaves a lasting mark on the town forever.
Over 40 year’s later we are introduced to a group of teenagers, seven friends who are getting ready to graduate and want to plan one last big blowout before they all go their separate ways. The first location for the party is at Jacob’s lake-house they planned on fell through, so Austin and Jacob come up with the bright idea to sneak out to “Crazy Freddy’s” house and have their blowout there instead. They figure this would be the perfect place to hold the party since the legends surrounding the house would not only allow them to impress the girls, but ensures that they will have the place all to their selves. However, once they get out there, it is obvious someone or something is out there watching them. An innocent disagreement between two of the friends sparks a chain of tragic events that will forever alter the lives of those teenagers and place them in the crosshairs of a sadistic killer that will stop at nothing to get his revenge.
One of the things that I really loved about Consequences was that it was written in a style that is reminiscent of vintage slasher films. If there is one thing I love as much as horror literature, it is a good horror movie. Between the brutal opening scene that sets the tone for the novel and the killer begins picking off victims one by one, Quick does a great job capturing the style of vintage slasher films. There is also some great tension because after their initial confrontation, the killer obviously gets away and they are left wondering if he is coming back for them. That brings up a level of psychological torment that has them constantly looking over their shoulder and it also serves as a catalyst for the growth of the characters.
The characterization in this novel is also very well done. Christopher, one of the main characters of the novel, is your average teenager, never really getting into any trouble and he pines after his childhood friend Hannah, who he has been friends with since the 2nd grade. Since she’s moving to California, this summer is Christopher’s last chance to say something to her. Quick nails their complex relationship perfectly, especially early on when they are still trying to figure their relationship out. Anyone who has ever fallen for a close friend, can definitely relate to these scenes of self-doubt and mixed messages. Even as their relationship begins to change and grow throughout the novel, it happens organically and is totally believable, never once feeling forced or overly cheesy.
I also liked Special Agent Jack Cochran who works for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He struck me as being genuine and a really good investigator. Though I couldn’t help but feel bad for him at times because Chris and his friends put him through hell. I mean the poor guy is just trying to do his job and they really cause him some headaches! All kidding aside, I loved their interactions together and I only wish there was more of him in the middle parts of the book.
While Quick does a great job with all of his characters, I thought Alexis had the best arc and she was by far my favorite character. At the beginning of the novel she’s portrayed as being an outsider with low self-esteem that is looked down on by everyone. It isn’t until an honest moment with Tyler that she begins to think that maybe people are wrong about her and she can do whatever she wants, regardless of people’s impressions about her. As the novel progresses – aside from a short period where she was consumed with grief – Alexis begins stands up for herself and exhibits more strength than any of the other characters combined. She takes charge of the group when they realize the killer is targeting them and without her masterful internet sleuthing skills, they wouldn’t have stood a chance in their quest for answers. Simply put, Alexis morphs into a complete badass!
Quick’s killer in Consequences is definitely a force to be reckoned with and unleashes tortures so vicious and horrific, it will definitely make you squirm! There is a scene at a lake house part way through the novel and what he does to the poor person he snares in his trap was scary as hell and one of the sickest things I have read in a long time. I don’t want to give away too much about this killer’s methods or his history, but Quick makes him more interesting than your run-of-the-mill horror psycho. He has a code that he follows, or at least tries to follow. Although he is obviously deranged, he possesses intelligence that allows him to blend in as we see him cruise past checkpoints without a problem and even feels comfortable talking to the officers. He also has incredible patience, often waiting in the same spot for hours while tracking the characters. I liked that he was introduced early on and that his identity was left a mystery for a while, but you learn very quickly the sort of violence he is capable of and that he is definitely not someone you want to cross.
The only issue I had was with some of the backstory for this character. Once his identity is revealed and you learn more about him, it is easy to see why he wants to hurt Chris and his friends. However, there are still a lot of questions that make his thought process unclear. He consistently mentions “Luck” being on his side, by where did this fascination come about? Also, without spoiling his identity, there is little mention of what made him first become a killer. There are some clues, but it would have been nice to get just a little more insight into his background to see what turned him into a killer.
The dialogue in this story is fantastic. It really rings true for the most part, especially when you read some of the opening lines of the father figure or “Crazy Freddy” as he is affectionately known. Judy recalls him saying to “close the damn door” and that she wasn’t “raised in a goddamned barn”. Lines like that give you a sense of what this man is like and you can practically hear his voice in your head. There are also a few more graphic ones that indicate he’s abusive and controlling. Quick does a great job of bringing this character to life with little moments and believable conversations, especially when the friends all gather around to talk about their hopes and dreams.
Quick’s debut novel is a really fun summer read that will appeal to any horror fan, but particularly those who enjoy a good slasher story. This book stands out on its own, but as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think of Kristopher Rufty’s Desolation, so if you enjoyed that I think you will love Consequences. Consequences hints at a very bright future for Quick, who has already signed to Sinister Grin Press for his follow-up novel. One of my favorite things about covering dark fiction is discovering new authors, so I am glad I was invited to join this blog tour. Quick is a talented new author and I think the wait for his follow-up will be unbearable!
Use these hashtags to help spread the word about Consequences!- #Consequences #summerofterror #crazyfreddy
It was a summer of blood and terror…
For seven friends, graduation night was supposed to be a time to celebrate the end of their high school careers and the start of their real lives.
But when an accident while partying at the local haunted house results in tragedy, they find themselves being hunted by a maniac for whom the stakes are decidedly personal.
Thirty years ago, Crazy Freddy hung his family up with barbed wire and skinned them alive. Now, the survivors can only hope for such a kindness as they are forced to accept that for everything they do, there will be CONSEQUENCES.
Praise for Consequences
“The character work here is pretty impressive, particularly for a first-time novelist.” – Michael Hicks, Author of Let Go
“John Quick takes you inside the mind of a psycho path in this thriller. I read it in only two sittings because the pacing kept me turning the pages. Very well written, I enjoyed the dialogue very much, especially the young people being hunted by the killer. It felt believable and well developed.” – Michelle Garza, co-author of Mayan Blue
John Quick Biography
John Quick has been reading and writing scary and disturbing stuff for as long as he can remember, and has only recently begun releasing some of his creations upon the world.
His debut novel, Consequences is available now as a paperback or digital eBook. Watch for his next novel to come from Sinister Grin Press in 2017. He lives in Middle Tennessee with his wife, two kids, and three dogs that think they’re kids.
When he’s not hard at work on his next novel, you can find him online at: http://johnquickauthor.blogspot.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter.
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