I am thrilled to write about this debut novel by Heather James. It is always a privilege to review debuting authors. So without further ado, here is my review.
Written in the first person viewpoint, we meet Evelyn Barrett as she talks about the first Eve and a piece of fruit. From that point forward it becomes a wild roller-coaster ride for Evelyn, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Heather chose a difficult subject to write about, sexual abuse and murder of young innocent children. Her main character, Evelyn, is a woman who tries to deal with the murder of her only child. It is how she deals with it that will make the reader continue to read this extremely suspenseful novel.
Will she accomplish what she sets out to do? Will revenge fulfill her emptiness?
Heather James has crafted a novel that will have have you turning the pages until you reach the last. An incredible, chilling tale with a spiritual twist that will have you looking at things differently, Unholy Hunger, is a winner for me.
I look forward to reading the next one in this powerful series.
Kregel Publications provided me with a free review copy for the purpose of writing this review.
Unholy Hunger absolutely blew me away! I was completely shocked to read that this was Heather James's first novel because it's one of the best I've ever read. I was immensely disturbed yet completely absorbed in this novel. I was so glued to this book from page one that I read the book in two days because I could not put it down!
I think as a parent whenever you read about your worst nightmare happening to someone, you can't help but put yourself in their shoes. I think that being a mother drew me into this story even more because I have a daughter around the same age. It's horrifying to even think about my child being murdered but that's what Evelyn Barrett must face.
She responds in much the same way I think I would with first denial, then anger and a need for medication just to get her through. When the fog of the medicine lifts and she is left with her immeasurable grief, her anger and hatred takes over. She becomes a vigelante of sorts, tracking down pedophiles with her newly obtained ability to "smell" them.
What Evelyn discovers the hard way is that no matter how many pedophiles she puts behind bars, her daughter is still dead and the life she once knew including her job and husband are now gone. Only when she faces her reality can she heal and move forward. Her journey will take her through all the stages of grief.
Heather James's writing is almost poetic and it's so deep that I hurt when Evelyn hurt and cried when she cried. I felt her rage and desperation and only an amazingly gifted author can pull you that deep into her story with her words. It drew me to a dark place where you think about the worst in human nature but then led me to a feeling of hope and perseverance that the human spirit experiences only after extreme circumstances.
I can not rave enough about this novel and my mere words simply do not do justice to Unholy Hunger. It's something you have to read for yourself to comprehend.
What a powerful book! Beware, this is an intense book, and though a novel, deals with a serious issue - a mother pursuing the murderer of her young daughter. This is just a warning should it be a subject that would bother you.
Evelyn is a successful attorney. But then her four-year-old daughter is abducted, then found murdered and having been molested. Evelyn is consumed with revenge, wanting the life of the man who took her daughter's life. She spirals into the depths of vengeance even though her husband, friends, and the police try to keep her from that dangerous place.
This is a hard hitting novel. Heather has crafted a well written novel that invites us into the being of a mother tormented by her daughter's murder. We feel her passion to find the murderer and see that he loses his life too. We feel the evil that desires her being, driving her on in her pursuit of vengeance. We also feel the gentle tugging of the Holy Spirit as he points her in the direction God desires.
This novel is intense. It is not a cozy read. It is disturbing and thought provoking. It made me think of how quickly evil can sneak into our motives. But it also reminded me how persistent the Holy Spirit is and how the grace of God will persevere. I highly, highly recommend this book (if you can read about the murder of a child). This book is so well written, I am amazed it is a debut novel. I look forward to the next in the "Lure of the Serpent" series.
This would make a great choice for a reading book. The themes for discussion are serious and many. Again, a warning. The thoughts and actions of Evelyn as she pursues vengeance are intense. If the molestation and murder of a child would bother anyone in your reading group, well, just beware of the intensity of this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
What a heart ripping story. Heather James has written a powerful, and page turning read. It reads really fast, because you want answers.
Evelyn Barrett seems to have it all...she is a top lawyer and has made mega bucks. She has a wonderful husband Eddie, and a delightful, fun, little four year old, Corrine. She appears to have a wonderful life, when darkness descends, and she is about to loose it all.
A filthy beast, a force so evil, has descended on Eddie and Evy, and stolen their child. When their Nanny falls asleep while the little one is playing, she is stolen and murdered.
How would one deal with this, God speaks to Evy, but she doesn't always listen, with disastrous results. One result was, in a way good, but would you want it? She started to smell pedofiles, and she does manage to help the police department, maybe.
Will the marriage of Eddie and Evelyn be able to survive this, and if so how? Will she be able to find the person responsible? The answers are here, along with the pain.
I was provided with a copy of the book through Kregel Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.
Successful lawyer Evelyn Barrett is comfortable in her roles as mother and wife and attorney, until she receives news that shatters her world. Her daughter has been brutally murdered. Evelyn is immediately consumed by anger and hatred, forgetting everything else in her life as she burns with one desire. Nothing will stop her from hunting down the murderer and punishing him for taking her precious daughter from her, even if she herself must die in the process. And then, she begins smelling evil....
Debut novelist Heather James offers up a fantastic start to a new series, The Lure of the Serpent, a story of murder and revenge with supernatural overtones. The writing crackles with tension, and I was immediately swept up into the heart-break and the suspense that is woven throughout the pages. Before I picked up the book, I was worried the book might drag if the reader was forced to constantly wallow in Evelyn's grief over the loss of her daughter. But if you have a similar fear, there is no need! The book moves at an unstoppable pace, and I found it incredibly difficult to put the book down for any reason. Evelyn is a unique character and I simply couldn't get enough of seeing the world through her eyes. As a parent myself, I could immediately relate to Evelyn as a parent, though I thank God I've never had to deal with anything like she has. The story of what happens to her daughter is absolutely disturbing, and I can't imagine having to live with such a thing! The added twist of being able to smell evil (I won't say more for fear of giving away too much) is a simply awesome trait to give a character!
I honestly find it hard to believe that this is the first novel Heather James has written. It's a keeper for sure! I'm anxiously awaiting the next book to emerge from Heather's imagination! Bonus points are awarded for being a debut novel, and I give this my highest recommendation of 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Kregel, for the purposes of this unbiased review.