A man called Abel brings death and destruction to the city causing “madness, fear, and murder” – no wonder the city is on edge. Some of its inhabitants follow Abel’s lead…
‘The sickness” is what transforms Abel into a person most cruel who tortures and gravely misconducts himself without feeling… anything. The chilling first chapter shows us all too well what Abel is capable of and that is just him growing up. The reference to the Biblical brothers Cain and Abel is there to see but what is extremely worrying is Abel’s conclusion – one which will have a far-reaching impact on his life and, sadly, on that of others too…
Is it growing up in a loveless family, with parents who could not care less what happened to their only child, Abel, that made the boy the man he came to be? Or is it something dark in his psyche that forces its way out in unspeakable actions? Abel’s parents most certainly knew what their son was capable of but they were incapable of doing anything about it.
Abel’s father recognised it – because of something in himself too? It is also Abel’s father who flattens out the ‘creases’ Abel makes or, in other words, who makes complaints go away and charges dropped and who, even more disturbingly, tells Abel how to “revel in the joy of those moments” when the “impulses from within” emerge to the surface. It was a spine-chilling moment both for Abel as for the reader.
First, we meet Dan Flood and Olivia Jones, who fell head over heels in love whilst on vacation. Now, they are a couple with two young children and life is not as rosy as it was. The daily arguments about the children and the house, the constant tiredness and both their jobs, it all seems too much. Dan feels a hostility towards the city Olivia made him move to and, on top of that, hates his job with a vengeance. No wonder he blames Olivia.
She, on the other hand, would love to go back to the days of old but even more, would like Dan to get a grip and ‘man up.’ Theirs is a daily continuous struggle and we wonder whether they will go through with their marriage plans. We also see Olivia’s boss having an eye for his beautiful employee and there is the neighbour, Mike, who is only too happy to take over jobs around the house.
With jealousy and discontent at hand, a weird postman and a city in the grip of a man called Abel terrorising whoever he can, the tension rises. We perceive Abel’s thoughts and know, he has so much more in store for the city. At first, you almost feel pity for Abel as he tells us he feels isolated but is it due to his own behaviour or to the fact that he is incapable of giving and receiving love and affection?
Who is Abel and what is his motive for his reign of terror? He wants the public to know him and fear his name because he tells his victims “my name is Abel” and thrills at the fear he installs. Abel is in the city – how will the city cope? The police have no clue and the question is how long will the public stay quiet? Will there be vigilantes or others, inspired by Abel’s behaviour? Slowly, action by action, step by step, the violence deteriorates and with the submerging fear in the city and its inhabitants, we shudder to think what Abel is capable of.
Abel’s Revenge is yet another expertly crafted psychological thriller by Ross Greenwood, exploring the influence of man’s darkest sides on life and relationships. It sounds so ordinary: a couple with young children, marital problems (even if they are not married – the situation is the same), but slowly the author shows us multiple layers, a few more characters, each with their own tribulations.
The book is carefully construed into short chapters, each written from the perspective of the chapter’s protagonist. That fascinating topic, nature or nurture to instigate someone’s conduct again is at the bottom of this insightful novel, this time mixed with societal and human behaviour. Why is it, that people tend to ignore others? Why are so few capable of extending a hand, even a smile towards a stranger? Are we as a society responsible for the anti-social attitudes we see on a daily basis?
In Abel’s Revenge, we witness ordinary lives going downhill and also how even innocent actions can have a huge impact, let alone the violent ones. The most fascinating aspect of this book is that the author paints a picture of people like you and me – with everyday emotions and jobs and then, somehow, adds a dark layer to it all combining the ordinary with a viciousness that makes your blood go cold and you just have to keep on reading to find out what will happen next.
After I finished the book the emotions hurtled through my mind about the topic and complexity of the novel. Yet again, the author has delivered a dark and disturbing psychological thriller!
Books by Ross Greenwood:
About Ross Greenwood
Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world. Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.” All the author’s books are thought-provoking and told with a sense of humour. Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Abel’s Revenge is available at Amazon
|Publisher||Ross Greenwood (01 March 2018)|