Friday, July 4, 2014

QUICK REVIEW: Close Reach by Jonathan Moore


In a riveting tale of suspense and terror on the high seas, Bram Stoker Award nominee Jonathan Moore pits human beings against nature—and something far deadlier: one another.

Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms—and their cracked marriage. A British girl shrieking across a short-range VHF frequency ends that illusion. It’s coming, she screams. It saw us and it’s coming back! Her voice is drowned by a tide of signal-jamming static, and Kelly sees a target on the radar screen: A ship is coming for them.

Thus begins an unforgettable cat-and-mouse game across stormy polar seas and dire landfalls. Kelly’s pursuers will test her to the limits of her endurance—and beyond. For the ship in her wake is crewed by pirates, with a young leader trained to use the most sadistic tortures in pursuit of his ultimate objective . . . a goal as shocking as it is horrific.

Ebook, 200 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Hydra (first published January 1st 2014)
ISBN: 0553390945 (ISBN13: 9780553390940) 

About the Author

Jonathan Moore is a Bram Stoker Award nominated author of dark thrillers.

Before graduating from law school in New Orleans, Jonathan lived in Taiwan for three years, guided whitewater raft trips on the Rio Grande, and worked as an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. He has also been an English teacher, a bar owner, a counselor at a wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, and a textbook writer.

Jonathan majored in creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy, and later attended the (now defunct) New College of California for more of the same. While at New College, he wrote three novels that you will never see. Jonathan and his wife have lived in Honolulu since 2007. He tries to split his time between his sailboat and his back porch.

Jonathan’s debut novel, Redheads, was published in November 2013. He wrote Redheads largely aboard his ‘classic’ 1970 Tartan sailboat, and he would like to thank his diesel engine for being so uncooperative that between 2009 and 2011, he did more writing than sailing.

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My Thoughts
The timer above the narrow pilot berth started buzzing at 2:50 a.m., but Kelly had been awake at lest an hour, thinking of the last radio call.
A couple is sailing out in the middle of no where when they hear a woman on the radio screaming for help, and then the radio is jammed by the sound of heavy metal music. Later they find themselves being pursued by a boat, and their own radio jammed by heavy metal.

I'm sort of on the fence with this book. It started out great! Initially the detail in the book was very good, leaving me feeling as if I were right there. I know nothing about sailing, but the author had a way of relaying the boat and the functions of the sailors in such a way that I could envision exactly what was going on. The author's love for sailing was evident. However once the characters Dean and Kelly were off the boat, it got less detailed and felt more fragmented. I found it hard to keep track of the bad guys. They were like flashes of images and without much depth.

In the beginning the story was really creepy and eerie. These people in the middle of no where, being chased by unknown people. Heavy metal music blaring. What do these pursuers want? What can this couple do to protect themselves? However about halfway through the book, I made a note that the story was getting a bit preposterous.
It just started to feel a little bit like a crazy fantasy you might dream up while sitting around in your broken down car, waiting on the tow truck for two hours.

My final word: The story felt a bit one-dimensional. It started out great, but the last half fell flat for me. While it was really eerie in the beginning, it wound up becoming just brutal and a bit excessive. I initially felt that this story had the potential for being a great frightener, but it fell short and wound up just being the equivalent of a slasher film. Okay for a quick read, but no real substance.

Buy Now:

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My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through the Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.

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