Saturday, December 31, 2011

John Dodds: Bone Machines

From indie author John Dodds comes a very dark novel of a serial killer who murders for his love of his art.

Stephen Morrell is an artist with a very different medium. Decay, destruction, human bones, bodies, they are what make his art stand out. However, how he acquires his medium is his true art form and his victims will suffer for his art. They are men and women from around the Glasgow who have gone missing and yet the police are not willing to say that they are related. When people look at his art, he knows that they will never understand the true meaning of each piece of death that is portrayed, yet they attempt to and flock to see him. Ray Bissett is an investigative reporter who has put others on the line before just to get a story. He is drawn into the missing people story determined to show that they are linked, never realizing that this story is one that will hit very close to home.

I'm not sure how I found this ebook, but I thought it sounded interesting and I liked the name to I decided to read the first few pages to see if i would like it, I was hooked in from the first few pages. I did not want to put this book down, it had many of the elements that I look for in a thriller book.

The serial killer in this novel is Fantastically Sinister and Evil. I did not even mind that you know who it is at the serial killer is at the beginning of the book. Dodds does not go into too much detail of what is done to the victims but enough detail is given to give the reader the creeps but much of it is left to your own imagination which I think is worse. I like the interaction between Stephan's art and his victims (his real art form), as he displays many of the classic psychopathic tendencies. I also like how Dodds had Stephen have the ability to wear the mask of normalcy around everyone but his victims. This made him much more real and scary as he really could be anyone, anywhere. I really enjoyed the chapters from Stephan's point of view. How he views other people, how he hunts, his journal entries, all were really interesting and have the ability to really draw the reader in. The one thing I did not like was the "surprise" near the end of the book. This surprise used to be unique however, I have found more and more authors turning this way, therefore, the impact and uniqueness has worn off.

Outside of Stephen I found that this book was lacking in a few places. Ray is an investigative reporter but other than a contact near the beginning of the book, I found that he lacked in investigative ability or the right contacts to get the information that he needed. I think the individual in the story who had the most investigative ability is the forensic anthropologist, which is fitting as Stephan's artwork is mainly based in the use of human bones. I think that the investigative part of the story should have been based around her, have Ray as the secondary character.

I also found that the MP (member of Parliament) Robert Park and Miriam Allen issue was never fully finished or explained, and I am unsure if Dodds is going to release another book with the same characters in order to finish the Park's issue. It sounds like it but I do not think that I would want to read a book strictly about Ray and a possible corrupt politician. I think that Dodds novel should have forgot about the political angle and just stuck with the serial killer one as that was the best part of the book.

While this novel may be lacking in certain parts (oh and I will mention that there are a few spelling a grammar errors but nothing too major), I think that it is worth reading just for the serial killer aspects. This is where Dodds excelled in this book and would encourage me to read another novel by him if it is crime based. This is a FREE ebook and smashwords (, and one that I would recommend you try out, it is one of the better free ebooks that I have read.


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