I think reblogs must be like buses. You don’t do any in almost six years of blogging and then two come along in a month for the same author! Today I’m delighted to re-share my review of a book that was one of my books of the year in 2017; The Abattoir of Dreams by Mark Tilbury. Mark is in the process of rebranding his novels and I shared details of another, You Belong To Me, here.
The Abattoir of Dreams was released yesterday, 26th November 2020, and is available for purchase here.
The Abattoir of Dreams
How do you prove your innocence when you can’t remember the past?
Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.
Now an adult, Michael wakes up from a coma in hospital suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.
Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison. With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in a hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand. But then strange things start to happen, and his childhood comes back to haunt him with a vengeance.
Will Michael ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?
And why is DI Carver so keen to make him suffer?
The Abattoir of Dreams is a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse.
My Review of The Abattoir of Dreams
When Michael Tate wakes in hospital without memory, he finds himself accused of his girlfriend Becky’s murder.
Let me just say, that had I not been asked to be part of the launch celebrations for The Abattoir of Dreams I would never have read it because it’s so far out of my comfort zone even the Hubble telescope wouldn’t be able to find it!
Abattoir of Dreams was so brilliantly written I could hardly bear to read it. Covering terrible themes of sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse The Abattoir of Dreams makes for very uncomfortable and sometimes disturbing reading. Having worked in education and inspected child protection, I know just how realistic the scenarios Mark Tilbury presents really are, despite their truly horrific nature. So, regardless of not wanting to read on, I found I couldn’t tear myself away as Mikey’s memories gradually began to reappear.
If you’re easily offended by bad language and disquieting themes then perhaps this isn’t the read for you, but The Abattoir of Dreams was written so effectively and realistically that I found these elements added to the atmosphere and never felt gratuitous. I believe not reading The Abattoir of Dreams would have left me a poorer individual. There’s quite considerable violence too that I found far more affecting than any film I might watch. At times my heart rate was elevated as I read, especially in the denouement which is, ironically, one of the less graphic parts of the story.
The characterisation is so effective. As the layers are peeled back and we find out what happened to put Mikey in hospital, we also understand his background as a child and how he has developed into the young man he is. There are villains aplenty who are startlingly depicted, but it is the victims, like Liam, who impact most on the reader. In fact, one of the characters that appealed to me most was the dog, Oxo.
However, despite the gritty, disturbing and frequently horrifying aspects of Abattoir of Dreams, it is not entirely bleak and unremitting. There is real love and friendship exemplified and the supernatural element gives us all hope too.
I can’t say I enjoyed reading The Abattoir of Dreams because it disturbed me, but it’s a book I won’t forget in a hurry as it engendered a range of emotions in me from rage to horror, sadness to hope and pity to murderous thoughts. I thought it was brilliant.
About Mark Tilbury
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and having had seven books published by an indie publisher, has decided to return to self publishing. After successfully publishing The Last One To See Her, A Prayer For The Broken followed in October 2020.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.
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