Book Review of Yage: A Tom Regan Thriller

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Cover art for Aidan Reid’s novel “Yage.”

It’s been quite a while since I reviewed Irish indie author Aidan J. Reid’s mystery novel Sigil. The book introduced Father Tom Regan, a Catholic Priest with a nose for mysteries, and particularly the bizarre.

Yage is the second in the “Tom Regan Thriller” series, and this time, Reid takes it up a notch.

Based on his own drug use experiences under somewhat similar circumstances, Reid takes Father Regan to Peru, ostensibly to meet his young niece Louise, who has been hiking throughout the Peruvian region, but also to process his own crisis of faith, particularly in light of the conclusion of the Sigil ordeal.

What Regan finds is a mystery he didn’t ask for and one that puts the life of his niece at risk. Slowly putting the clues together, he finds that Louise is only one of a number of victims of a mysterious shaman, who is somehow tied to the Yage tourist trade, people from western nations who pay local companies to administer and monitor their use of a hallucinogen for a variety of personal purposes. Tom himself must undergo this challenge in his desperate efforts to find his missing niece. Along the way, he finds unlikely allies in the form of a local priest, other tourists, and another young woman he must use, and put at risk, in order to discover what happened to Louise.

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Raising Lazarus: A Book Review

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Raising Lazarus by Aidan Reid

I just finished reading Aidan Reid’s novel Raising Lazarus and I must say I am impressed. I’ve read other works of his including “Sigil”, “Pathfinders”, and his short story “Spectrum”, and I think “Raising Lazarus” is his best authoring effort to date.

There will probably be a few “spoilers” in my review, so if you don’t want important plot points revealed ahead of reading “Lazarus,” stop reading this review now.

The novel follows college student Molly Walker, who, as part of writing her University thesis, interviews an incarcerated male prostitute named Lazarus. After he is released, she continues to be fascinated by him and throughout the first half of the novel, they casually pursue each other, with Lazarus slowly letting Molly into his world.

The novel moves back and forth between the present and seven years ago when Lazarus was a refuge in Syria being harbored by a Catholic Priest, giving the reader the opportunity to compare “past” Lazarus with who he presents himself as today.

Eventually, Lazarus reveals that he believes he is the Biblical Lazarus, the man who was resurrected by Christ after being dead and entombed for over three days.

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Book Review of Sigil: A Tom Regan Thriller

sigilWow!

When I first created this blogspot and shamelessly began to promote it, a number of people commented and followed me, including 33-year old Irish thriller author Aidan J. Reid. I followed his blog back, and by the by, I saw that he had promoted his latest novel Sigil by offering the eBook on Amazon for free (but only for a limited period of time). I hadn’t read a mystery in decades and wasn’t sure how I’d experience “Sigil,” but I decided to download it onto my Kindle Fire.

The novel starts with a bang. Really, I was hooked from the first few pages on. Sigil chronicles the activities of Catholic Priest Tom Regan, who is the Parish Priest of the small town of Ballygorm.

What appears to be a tragic suicide becomes a mystery wrapped in intrigue as Father Regan, walking in the footsteps of his favorite television detective, uncovers a conspiracy not just to hide a murder, but something much more terrifying.

One step at a time, Regan unravels years of secrecy and sinister plots, revealing that the sleepy farming community of Ballygorm is anything but the idyllic rural setting it appears to be.

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Kindle Book Review: “Spectrum, A Sci Fi Thriller”

spectrumI just finished reading Aidan J. Reid’s new short story Spectrum, a Sci Fi Thriller (you can find out more about it at his blog).

While it advertises itself as a thriller, from the very first sentence, I got the feeling I was reading a horror story (spoiler alerts throughout–you have been warned). A mysterious medical outfit is offering the homeless money and opulent living conditions in exchange for them volunteering for human experimentation of different products.

We never learn out protagonist’s name. Just that she’s a 26-year-old homeless woman with an alcohol addition. Apparently she, along with others off the street, qualify as test subjects for rather ill-defined experiments, ill-defined until the “treatments” are actually applied.

The majority of the story is a set up to the actual procedure and aftermath on her eyes. From what she describes, the reader will have a fair idea of what was done with her, but to her, it was still a mystery.

I was engaged in the story to nearly the very end. Her eyes had been changed. True, she’d been alienated from most of the other patients except for Tyler, but she was hopeful not only that her sight was restored, but that the people who used her as a test animal, BioLuminary, were to actually give her a job, not requiring that she undergo any more medical procedures.

For her, everything seemed as if it were looking up. For the reader, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And drop it does. In fact, it’s so abrupt that I was shocked right out of my involvement in the narrative. Wait a minute. What happened?

Only vague references to “reptiles” and the poor woman’s all too sudden suicide.

Aiden really had me going up to this point. By page count, I could tell the story was about to end, but it ended in a way that left several points completely unresolved.

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