Book Review: The Mother Of All Things by Gabriel Blake
Title: The Mother Of All Things
Author: Gabriel Blake
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: DRF Publishing July 26, 2018
Kindle Pages: 282 Pages
It was supposed to be a new beginning for Elaine Davis. Returning to her childhood home in North Yorkshire, she hopes to move on from a devastating past and rebuild her life with the help of her mother and children. Sometimes though, new beginnings in familiar surroundings can come with the stirrings of memories long forgotten. As Elaine’s mind begins to unravel, discoveries of deceit and betrayal reveal themselves and circumstances spiral beyond her control. Elaine must fight to hold on to her sanity; unless of course, she has already lost it?
First, I’m stunned this is Mr. Blake’s debut novel. It seems he’s been writing psychological thrillers a while. In The Mother of All Things, Mr. Blake melds mystery, crime, suspense, drama, and action in a story seeping with dark paranoid tension that leaves you wondering about the main character’s mental state. Mr. Blake throws the reader immediately into the main character’s, Elaine, conflict as she wakes covered in blood with a dead man beside her, and no memory of how he got there, or whether she killed him. My interest was piqued even more when Elaine’s mother appears and says, “Now calm yourself, child. You know what you have to do…” an ever-present voice of reason.
Elaine has grieved the mysterious disappearance of her son Charlie for years, which eventually ended her marriage and sends her spiraling down a suicidal path. After years of counseling, she seems to be holding up well, until she returns to her childhood home, a five-bedroom, two-story former farmhouse, with a dilapidated barn, which she sets out to restore. Elaine’s constant painting, throughout the novel, somehow appears a metaphor for her murky past—a fresh coat of paint concealing a muddied, ugly past. Elaine has no memory of her father and has forgotten most of her childhood. A forlorn oak tree whispers something horrific, the old barn holds a secret, and bordering the two-acre property are several buried mysteries.
As the story progresses something’s not right as Elaine tries to reclaim her life and make it right. The past keeps popping its tormenting head into her life. Night terrors, and dreams forebode danger, but from whom or what. Reality soon takes on the possibility of a horror story with terrifying manifestations. Mr. Blake paints the picture of uncertainty; a mood and tone that make the reader wonder if the MC is stable or delusional as inexplicable murders keep happening around her. The story turns strange and dark, as Elaine’s past unfolds.
I must say the climactic bloodbath that follows a horrifying truth just keeps going and going and I prayed for the poor souls in the path of death. The denouement reaps vengeance and retribution so dark, so brutal yet horribly good.
The twists and turns, and interwoven characters held me to the end. The pace is never slow and just right for a psychological thriller. Told in the third person, Mr. Blake crafted an MC your heart will ache for. After such a harrowing past, you want and hope she’s victorious in the end. I recommended this book to anyone looking for a well written psychological thriller. Mr. Blake, thank you for the fantastic read!
Writing looked as though it had become one of those faded dreams that would fail to materialize, but like many thoughts planted in our minds by our younger selves, it never went away.
It was a long ride and wait with plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. My debut novel took me two and a half years of writing, rewriting, and editing. I hope you’ll join me on a journey that will lead wherever my mind decides to take us.
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