Tuesday 8 December 2015

Book Review: The Revelation Room by Mark Tilbury

My rating: ★★★★☆

About the Book

The Revelation Room – The first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers written with a touch of dark humour. 

Ben Whittle’s father is a private investigator. He’s been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating a missing girl. Close to death, he makes a desperate call to Ben for help. He tells Ben that he must not call the police because “everyone will die”. Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl with his friend Maddie. The only option left open to them is to join the cult and rescue Ben’s father from the inside. 

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben and Maddie into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is. He tricks and coerces his followers into believing they have no choice other than to follow his barbaric regime. 

Ben and Maddie must find Ben’s father and the missing girl, but the odds are impossibly stacked against them and time is fast running out. And they will soon discover the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room.

 My Review

This book is dark, very dark. It's much darker than I thought it would be... which is not a bad thing, because I love dark stories.

I found it to be hard hitting, gruesome, and at times a little sickening.

We open in a typical protestant church somewhere in the U.K. The scene is beautiful and familiar. It reminded me of the church I grew up in, and the pastor, of my own youth pastor back in the day.

But the story isn't about an idyllic church, because very soon, we find ourselves in the midst of a cult run by a raging lunatic who believes that Jesus Christ Himself is instructing him to brutally murder people. The juxtaposition is wonderful, and is a lesson to religious people everywhere about just how dangerous fanaticism can be.

The book mentions Waco a few times to compare the cult to, which I think is a fair comparison. When you start believing that God speaks to you in your head, and He's telling you to do things which are so incredibly out of character of the God who's introduced to us in the Bible, it can only ever end badly.

And it DOES end badly. 

The descriptions are exquisitely done, and the thoughts going through the mind of our cultist leader are wonderfully portrayed. This is a psychological thriller to rival the greats, and the author doesn't pull any punches with the horror either - gruesome depictions of depraved acts of brutality abound. This is definitely not a story for even the slightly faint of heart.

The Revelation Room is apparently the first book in a series, although at the time of this writing, the second instalment hasn't been released yet. I normally don't read series (so many books, so little time), but I think that I'm going to be taking a look at the second Ben Whittle. I hope it's half as good as this one!

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