4 Sept 2022



Nineteen-year-old Patty has a lot of baggage. Abusive parents. A horrible boyfriend. The stifling cocoon of her Podunk town. She longs to become a travel writer — visiting exotic lands far, far away

But escaping town the way she does, forced by her boyfriend Roy to join him on a violent crime spree across middle America was not the travel of Patty's dreams. It's a journey that will only land her in jail — or dead. But escaping Roy is out of the question. He'd hunt her down, find her, and surely beat her worse than he's ever beaten her before.

When they stumble across the gentleman alone at the cabin by the lake, he offers Patty a glimmer of hope and freedom. But this man hides evil secrets of his own… ... Back Cover Blurb

She moved in with her Aunt Meredith during the summer of her fourteenth year.  ... First Sentence, Chapter One

The smile left his face immediately. And he looked hard, bitter, angry and - even evil. His look changed instantly. Patty couldn't finish the sentence. 

Roy looked down at the small table next to the door. He picked up Patty's purse and handed it to her. She took it and he put his hands on the back of her neck, squeezing harder than he should. He leaned in close and whispered. "Sure is good to see you." Then he kissed her on her lips. He smiled at her again, and then he pulled her out the down. "Now let's get going." ... Memorable Moment, Page 112

A story of what happens when a teenage girl with a traumatic past {her father isn't referred to as The Monster, her mother as 'the witch' for no reason} hooks up with an abusive boy with an arguably just as traumatic a past.

In Patsy and Roy we have two great main characters; Patsy a character I quickly got behind, willing her to break free of the cycle of abuse. Roy? Hmm! Roy was a whole other kettle of fish as my nana would say.

That every fibre in me wanted to hate Roy and yet there was a small bit of me that argued that he was as much a product of his upbringing as Patsy was of hers. That he created such a monster and yet managed to evoke some empathy for them within me, something that I admire greatly about the author's writing 

Alas I was so taken with the other couple, Maggie and William, that we were later introduced to. ... 

Whilst I can appreciate their inclusion was one way of drawing the reader in from every possible angle and that there will doubtlessly be those readers who enjoyed the addition, for myself personally, an unnecessary addition, the jumping to-and-fro between characters, something that may well have worked in a longer novel but, at 187 pages, a relatively short read, I found the constant shifting left me feeling dizzy, my head reeling. 

Dark, brutal, though not what I considered gratuitousa no-bars-hold tale, the abuse at the centre of the story, harrowing and heart-breaking, redemption beyond reach ... or is it? That I was kept on my toes, wondering just where events would take me ... well, I'll let that speak for itself; essentially I rather enjoyed this thriller 'so abusive, it was criminal'.

About Dale Ward ... During the day Dale Ward is an award-winning filmmaker and videographer, while his night job is writer, reader and family man. Films he has written include: My Life Is a Movie, Walther, Ragman (with appearances in more than 50 film festivals), and There's Something in the Basement. He has won 4 regional Emmy awards producing the national television talk show On Main Street, and he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications from Webster University. His publishing history includes: The Home Run, Delayed Reactions, and My Life Is a Movie. He makes his home in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Suzanne, and two sons. *

Follow Dale Ward ... ~ Website ~ GoodReads ~ Twitter ~ FaceBook ~

* Author biography and photograph courtesy of GoodReads.


Kelly said...

There was a time when I read lots of thrillers like this, but I'm not as drawn to them anymore. That said, this one sounds really good!

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a truly dark, brutal
and compelling story.I will keep it
in mind. And thank you for your
excellent review.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

It's always a sign of good writing when you empathize with the bad guys!

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

At less than 200 pages, this one would certainly have to "pack a punch" to make it a complete story, so I would definitely give it a try from what you've said!

It so often seems to be the case that 'damaged' people are attracted to like- minded souls, making the cycle of self-destruction even more difficult to break.

Thanks for sharing, Great Review! :)