by Tim Curran
Overview (from NetGalley.com): Charlie Petty is a man known for having ice water in his veins. He never backs down and is never shaken but unfortunately stirred up into the wrong crowd. As a degenerate gambler, his luck has run out and his debt has now come due. Charlie is offered a chance to clear his tab: simply stay alone on a ship overnight to prove to its owner and potential crew that it’s not cursed nor haunted. Never mind the ship’s history of suicide, violence, mutiny and murder. Or how the ship’s past crews have gone missing or insane. The fact that no one has set foot on deck in darkness for years doesn’t phase Charlie one bit. It sounds like easy money to bust up a superstition or two. Charlie thinks his luck is returning. Little does he know it’s about to run out completely.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thinking of that one thing that truly gets under your skin, how far would you go to take care of the problem? I will admit that my limit is the actual law. I can’t see myself breaking the law to solve a problem, unless it was self-defense (which is not technically against the law). This short story (79 pages) had a lot of potential, plus I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in. The synopsis made it sound like it could be something supernatural, but I wasn’t sure if that would include ghosts, creatures or a croatoan incident. The author’s suspense-filled build up to Charlie’s ultimate fate was well-done. It was very detailed and pretty gory (I wish I hadn’t been eating lunch while reading it). But it was far from perfect. There was a lot of what I deemed unnecessary swearing; it didn’t help make a point or add to the story at all. There was also a lot of repetition. If the author were repeating something because it was an important point that the reader needed to remember it would have been fine, but this was repetition for the sake of it or for making Deadlock seem longer. My biggest problem was a lack of resolution to the entire story. If it were part of a continuing series and ended on a cliffhanger, fine. Not the case here. I was actually pretty irritated that after getting to the end, I still have no clue what was haunting the freaking ship! I think Deadlock could be a full length novel, with more background on Charlie and his life decisions leading up to his decision to stay on the ship. Flashback accounts on the ship could also be added. Overall I did like this short story, I just thought it could be better. If you’re hardcore into thriller stories, I may recommend Deadlock to you, but it would be on an individual basis when I know what you prefer to read.
3 out of 5 Bookmarks
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