If I keep picking up books written as well as Jeffrey’s, I’ll become a much faster reader. I prefer books in Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Horror, so the fact that this book grabbed my attention so quickly and easily is an impressive feat. I was first introduced to Jeffrey B. Burton through his short story “A Building This Size” in Evolved Publishing’s Evolution Vol. 1 anthology. His story was my favorite in that anthology, and I have been eager ever since to see how he could wow and entertain me in a novel length story.
Three major forces propel this story forward: an ex-FBI agent, who almost lost his life trying to stop a serial killer called The Chessman, and who is now called back to duty when another murder occurs three years later that matches The Chessman’s m.o.. In between interesting character profiles of the large cast involved, we learn tiny clues about The Chessman and whether or not he is responsible for this new set of murders. There is a father and daughter who find themselves caught in the middle and if Cady doesn’t figure out who is pulling the strings and where The Chessman is involved, it could be too late for them.
Overall, my response is that Jeffrey did a fantastic job. I’m not the best at remembering character’s names, but I was intrigued by every character he put on the page, and I figured it all out in the end. I just read along, flipping pages with earnest as I fully enjoyed the story he was telling. He does a great job of hiding the identity, motivation, and actions of the bad guys so that you have a handful of exhilarating “ah ha” moments. The action and research were also very well done, making the escape in this read all the more powerful because of how real it felt.
I recommend fans of any genre to pick this up. Anyone who appreciates a well-told story will be whisked away. 4 out of 5 stars.
You can listen to me and Jeffrey discussing this book a little and the writer’s life on my podcast, AudioTim 39: Jeffrey B. Burton, Author of the Chessman. I assure you, us being friends did not prevent this review from being impartial. It really is a great book.