Welcome to January’s Stellar Book Review, the place where I like to share news of the wonderful works of Indie authors that have graced my eyeballs.
This month, I am reviewing the second instalment in the Sixty Minute Reads Series from Dave Johnson. You can read my review of the first instalment, Atomic Number Sixty, here.
This instalment follows the same punchy template as the first, sixty chapters long each taking about sixty seconds to read – a format that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The billionaire Mengistu is running a competition with a ten million dollar prize fund: 60 minutes, 60 players, no rules, a straight fight to the death. Massacre of the Sixty attracts only the depraved and psychotic. Can Holly Holloway survive the carnage to discover more about the shadowy agency “The Hollow Falx”? It’s gonna be brutal, it’s gonna be violent, it’s what she’s trained for.
Our heroine, Holly Holloway, has been entered into the Massacre of The Sixty by the secret agency she works for on a fact finding mission. ‘The Hollow Flax” and the depraved pedophile, Mengistu, who runs it are operating under the radar and worrying them deeply. Holly’s task is to find out as much as she can about the organisation without dying. Perhaps not such an easy task given the nature of the self-describing contest.
The author has given himself the unenviable task of fitting an entire story, including character background, into this short and limiting template but he does it with panache. We follow Holly in the days and hours running up to the contest and get to understand her drivers for surviving the contest of society’s most depraved occupants. We feel her guilt at the death of an innocent man during her last mission. We watch her oh-so-normal home life with her humorously bickering parents, waving her off to her ‘office party’ without concern and we watch as she inflicts justice onto a slime ball guilty of disrespecting her best friend.
The contest itself is pretty gruesome, you’ll need a tough constitution to read some of the ways in which the fighters meet their end but these chapters are nicely peppered with reliefs of humour which more than make up for the cringing you’ll do whilst visualising brain splattered walls. At this point, I have to give the author a ‘hats off’ for thinking of so many bad guy names, over sixty of them. Good effort.
Dave’s writing will draw you in, you’ll find yourself reading faster and faster as each chapter draws to a close and then the book will be over and you’ll almost breath a sigh of relief. I say almost as the author has left some loose ends for you to sweat over (I’ve already had words with him about this on your behalf!) so you’ll be chomping at the bit for the next instalment to arrive, he assures me there will be answers there. Hurry up Dave!
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