Welcome Back, Jack starts as a slow moving police procedural that subtly wraps around you like a constrictor, keeping you snug and comfortable with the story and characters. . . until it starts to squeeze. By then it’s too late because you’re morbidly fascinated by this psychological thriller bordering on a horror novel. You can’t put the damn book down.
I admit, my love affair with Welcome Back, Jack did not start on the first page . . . or even the first chapter. While I usually enjoy attention to details, I felt the story stalled a bit as author Sweeny set the stage. Granted, there is a gruesome murder with graphic descriptions of the mutilated bodies. No one is going to sleep walk through that! But the initial investigation and introduction to the many characters seemed to take a long time and did not reel me in as quickly as I like.
However, once you get past the slough, this is an intriguing tale with some darned good twists. The story starts off like a gumshoe detective novel but soon gets in your head and stays there until the final page. Jack is a gruff detective who smokes too many cigarettes and keeps his emotions under lock and key. His wife, Mary might be the only one who truly understands him since she hails from a family of cops, but even that is debatable at times. As the investigation unfolds, clues reveal something even more terrifying – the killer is tied to Jack’s own biological parent’s murders from years earlier. Things go from murky to dark, spiraling to a conclusion that will leave you breathless.
Fans of police procedural, crime or horror/thriller novels will want to put Welcome Back, Jack on their must read list, as well as anyone who likes dark psychological whodunits. It’s a good read.
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WELCOME BACK, JACK
WELCOME BACK, JACK
by Liam Sweeny
Publisher: American Apocrypha (July 29, 2013)
When Jack was six years old, his parents were brutally slain by a serial killer. The police later found drifter Clyde Colsen driving a stolen car, his clothes soaked in blood. He was tried, convicted and executed. Jack grew up knowing that they got the guy.
Now, Jack, a decorated homicide detective in New Rhodes, arrives at the third crime scene of the “South End Killer” murders and finds his name. He will soon find out something else: Thirty years ago, they got the wrong guy. And now the right guy’s come back to pay Jack and New Rhodes his bloody respects.
As Jack struggles to stay on the case, his cat-and-mouse with the killer makes him wonder if he’s the cat or the mouse. His family, and everyone in his life is fair game. As the killer escalates and threatens the entire city, Jack has a question he must answer in his desperation; can he stop the monster without becoming one?
About the Author:
Liam Sweeny has worn many hats in his life. In addition to being a writer for ten years, he has been an artist, musician, grassroots campaign staffer and spent four years in disaster response, both in leadership and in the field.
It was in the field in New Orleans that Sweeny got his start as a writer. Hurricane Katrina, and his role in the relief effort, fueled his early writing, where he began in sci-fi/fantasy before transitioning into crime, mystery and noir.
As a crime writer, Sweeny’s work has appeared in many publications, such as Thuglit, All Due Respect, Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey and others. You can find out more at www.liamsweeny.com
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