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REVIEW: The Booker – Maryann Kafka

The Booker

Genre: Mystery, Horror, Suspense, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

One underworld entanglement.
One haunted music venue.
One chance to make it out alive.

When Barry Matthews left his band to become the booker for Melbourne’s hottest music venue, he never expected to find a link to the past buried deep within the rubble from the renovations. And now the new spate of threatening phone calls are becoming as troubling as the disappearing visitors and the malevolent activity in the basement. 

Trapped within the hotel with the alluring Simon, or Felicia, depending on his choice of outfit, they must join together to survive the threats from outside, as well as the dangers growing within the walls of the hotel.

But the longer the renovations go on, the stronger the dark forces become. Barry and Simon must uncover the secrets behind the hotel’s sinister history before it’s too late, or risk becoming the hotel’s latest victims.

The Review

Barry Matthews, former guitarist of The Maggots, now has a new career. He’s working for Mrs. Wintergarden, overseeing renovations for Boardwalk View Hotel which was built in 1889.  He hopes to get what once was a spectacular hotel back in shape, and and to promote the hotel as a venue. Barry has no problem with the ghostly goings on at the Boardwalk, at least until some very horrid things start to happen.

He has a best friend – Simon/Felicia, depending upon what he’s wearing.  They get along just fine. It never bothers Barry which one shows up, Simon or Felicia – he’s very accepting of both.

Barry also has a few other friends who stay at the hotel. There’s Charles, a musician who still finds gigs and encourages Barry to return to The Maggots.  There’s Pete, who Barry has taken to helping, as he was fighting an addiction and has been slowly recovering.  

And then there’s Clarence, the very odd cat, who keeps Barry company.

When the ghostly occurrences at the Boardwalk get violent and Barry can’t understand what’s going on, he finally seeks out Mrs. Wintergarden and finds out the truth about the fight for the Boardwalk and the violence in its past. Barry and Simon are dragged even deeper into the eerie events, which take them back in time. If they don’t escape, they could both end up dead.

This is a first-time read for me by Grace Hudson.  It’s a really entertaining paranormal tale, packed with gory violence, horror, corruption, greed and murder.  The author writes in-depth descriptions of the settings and characters which immerse you in their world, and adds just the right amount of eerie horror.  

Barry and Simon are such great characters too.  It’s a revelation to both of them as they slowly learn more about each other and a sweet relationship starts to grow. Simon, especially, brings humor into the tale.

“The Booker” was a page-turner for me – an excellently written horror story.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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