Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case

Adult
Rated 3.26/5 based on 19 reviews
The story of a hard-up P.I. whose plush case of protecting a rich spoiled brat escalates into an encounter with a man-eating monster. More

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About Adam Pepper

At times disturbing and grim, others raunchy and comical, Adam Pepper’s work is known for a unique blend of horror, suspense and speculative fiction. MEMORIA, Adam’s debut novel, reached #1 on the Dark Delicacies Best Seller list and received rave reviews from Cemetery Dance and Chronicle. "Super Fetus," his outrageous Bizarro novella was called "In-your-face, allegorical social commentary" by esteemed reviewer, Paul Goat Allen. His quick-hitting short work has appeared in genre magazines including THE BEST OF HORRORFIND, Vol. 2 and SPACE AND TIME. Adam’s non-fiction credits span from NEW WOMAN MAGAZINE to THE JOURNAL NEWS. Learn more about Adam at his website: www.AdamPepper.com.

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Reviews

Elizabeth Miller reviewed on on June 30, 2012

Gritty crime thriller with sci-fi twist. Private detective Hank Mondale is down on his luck and needs a client to earn some fast cash when he gets a call from billionaire Thomas Blake out of the blue wanting to hire him to find the murderer now stalking his daughter MacKenzie. The only problem seems that the suspect seems less and less human with every murder. Decent sci-fi crime nvel and was a good way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
Becky Raymond reviewed on on Feb. 12, 2012

Hank Mondale is a private investigator whose bad habits and trouble with the law blocked him from ever making it to his dream job as aNew York Citycop. Days filled with drinking too much and gambling away money he doesn’t have make the job offer from a wealthy client almost a life or death situation. When his new client reveals that a supernatural monster trying to kill his daughter, Mondale is not sure whether to stay for the money or run before it’s too late. Desperate for the paycheck and assuming real estate mogul Thomas Blake’s daughter, Mackenzie, is likely spinning a dope-induced tale, Mondale takes the case.

As Mondale dives deeper into Blake’s story, he discovers that people around Mackenzie keep disappearing without a trace and that she and her father are clearly hiding more than just the threats to her life. Has Mondale been hired to protect a clever murdering family or is there really someone – or something – to blame?

The early pages of the story made me think of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser – if he had continued on a self-destructive spiral into drunken debauchery – at least until things took a supernatural turn for the weird. As I progressed to the second section of the book and learned more about Mackenzie’s stalker, I found Pepper’s stark and disturbing narrative made me cringe in distaste.

While I found this to be an eminently readable story with compelling characters and engaging descriptions, I still can’t decide if I liked it or not. The protagonist of the story, Hank Mondale, has more bad habits than Charlie Sheen on a bad day. Just when I started to think I might like him, he would do something else to make me cringe and question his sanity. The only endearing character is Mondale’s childhood friend, Vic, who struggles to balance his loyalty to Hank with his dedication to his job as a cop with a heartfelt and genuine frustration.

For lovers of supernatural fiction who have a strong stomach for vivid depictions of gory situations, Pepper’s engaging dialogue and descriptions make for a good read, even if they don’t make for likeable characters.
(reviewed 74 days after purchase)
Cecilia reviewed on on Dec. 29, 2011

This book is seriously creepy and now I remember why I don´t usually read thrillers! They are way to creepy and I have nightmares for days if they are well written.

This book was partly kind of boring and partly creepy. This book is written from two perspectives, from the P.I. Hank Mondale´s and from It´s perspective. When the story was told from Hank´s view it was kind of boring and I found it difficult to continue reading. His whole personality was boring and lazy. He is not a very likable person. Then we get to read the story from the monster It´s view and then it got seriously creepy. The way it thinks and describe things just gets under my skin and I found it hard to continue reading because it creped me out. And it is not the only disturbing person in this story. There are someone else that is really horrible.

I would think that this novel is really good and it is very well written no doubt but it was not for me. If you thrillers and if you like things to be described in a way that it will be hard to get that image out of your head then this is for you. If you do not like that then you should stay away from this book. I wish I had. The images this book gave me will be hard to forget.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
Cecilia reviewed on on Dec. 29, 2011
(no rating)
This book is seriously creepy and now I remember why I don´t usually read thrillers! They are way to creepy and I have nightmares for days if they are well written.

This book was partly kind of boring and partly creepy. This book is written from two perspectives, from the P.I. Hank Mondale´s and from It´s perspective. When the story was told from Hank´s view it was kind of boring and I found it difficult to continue reading. His whole personality was boring and lazy. He is not a very likable person. Then we get to read the story from the monster It´s view and then it got seriously creepy. The way it thinks and describe things just gets under my skin and I found it hard to continue reading because it creped me out. And it is not the only disturbing person in this story. There are someone else that is really horrible.

I would think that this novel is really good and it is very well written no doubt but it was not for me. If you thrillers and if you like things to be described in a way that it will be hard to get that image out of your head then this is for you. If you do not like that then you should stay away from this book. I wish I had. The images this book gave me will be hard to forget.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
Trinity Foreman reviewed on on Dec. 26, 2011

This book was strange and intriguing from the first page to the last. Pepper's writing style is truly unique. Hank Mondale is a sorry excuse for a PI and that is is greatest strength when a celebrity comes calling. He knows Hank will be discreet because Hank plays everything slightly under the radar. However, things in the Blake house start to get more than strange. Hank gets caught up in the Blake world and a world of unexplainable disappearances, which he quickly begins to realize coincide.

For me this book started out great! I was ready to read more until Pepper changed POV's. It began to bounce back and forth an became erratic. I know a lot of people like books like this but it wasn't my cup-of-tea.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
Trinity Foreman reviewed on on Dec. 26, 2011
(no rating)
This book was strange and intriguing from the first page to the last. Pepper's writing style is truly unique. Hank Mondale is a sorry excuse for a PI and that is is greatest strength when a celebrity comes calling. He knows Hank will be discreet because Hank plays everything slightly under the radar. However, things in the Blake house start to get more than strange. Hank gets caught up in the Blake world and a world of unexplainable disappearances, which he quickly begins to realize coincide.

For me this book started out great! I was ready to read more until Pepper changed POV's. It began to bounce back and forth an became erratic. I know a lot of people like books like this but it wasn't my cup-of-tea.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
Shirley Frances reviewed on on Dec. 22, 2011

I put off reading it for a week, since it's not one of my usual reads. The first chapter was good. I enjoyed getting to know Hank and all the "investigating" that was done. However, once on Chapter 2, I lost much of my interest. I skimmed parts, just focusing on the parts I thought mattered. Its not that I wasn't interested in It's POV. I just found it to be too long but lacking in some areas. Anyway, on to Chapter 3, which I enjoyed since it's told from Hank's POV again and had some action and dialog. I loved the banter between Hank and Mackenzie. I think they're great characters, even if I though Mackenzie lacked some development. The conclusion left me with some questions, the confrontation between It and Hank was anticlimatic and the ending left me blank, but I think with some tweaks in POV's, some more action in particular scenes and more character development and this could be a fine book.

All in all, a quick, interesting read.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Shirley Frances reviewed on on Dec. 22, 2011
(no rating)
I put off reading it for a week, since it's not one of my usual reads. The first chapter was good. I enjoyed getting to know Hank and all the "investigating" that was done. However, once on Chapter 2, I lost much of my interest. I skimmed parts, just focusing on the parts I thought mattered. Its not that I wasn't interested in It's POV. I just found it to be too long but lacking in some areas. Anyway, on to Chapter 3, which I enjoyed since it's told from Hank's POV again and had some action and dialog. I loved the banter between Hank and Mackenzie. I think they're great characters, even if I though Mackenzie lacked some development. The conclusion left me with some questions, the confrontation between It and Hank was anticlimatic and the ending left me blank, but I think with some tweaks in POV's, some more action in particular scenes and more character development and this could be a fine book.

All in all, a quick, interesting read.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Alana Rock reviewed on on Dec. 21, 2011

Hank Mondale, a down-on-his luck private investigator, has dug himself a substantial hole between his alcoholism and gambling addiction. He can't pay his kleptomaniac secretary, is about to get evicted from his office building, not to mention the hired muscle breathing down his neck from his overdue losses on basketball games.

A new case seems to practically fall into his lap at just the right time, backed by a secretive wealthy client. Hank is not about to blow his chance to pay off his debts with one job, and agrees to meet with the client to find out more details. Once he realizes it's a very rich real estate mogul and his spoiled, drugged-out daughter with wild claims, he tries to back out. But he instead finds himself on a case that seems to tie-in with several missing persons and two odd homicides....

I have to admit, this is not the type of book I normally read. After reading just the first 10% of the book, I was nearly ready to put it down from there. It's well written, and the characters are detailed... but I didn't find myself liking the main character, Hank. Now, Liking a character is not a requirement for enjoying a book, but it helps. I couldn't identify with his gambling addiction, and I have demons from growing up regarding relatives and alcoholism... and the entire beginning of the book is Hank's personal train wreck of a life. I just plain didn't want to read that part. I did, and I am glad because once it pushed through that and actually seem to pick up the story it was much more interesting.

At one point in the story, the point of view changes, and I actually found that part of the story to be the best and most interesting to me. The innocence Adam Pepper writes into essentially a "monstrous" character was wonderful. I think "Symphony" as it is later named was probably my favorite character out of the book. I found myself rooting for the monster. The other characters were all so damaged and ruthless (except Hank- but I already explained my problems with him) I was basically ready for them all to die and the monster's hands so I could be done with the book. It was decent... I likely will not read it again. If someone likes a darker story with gritty, damaged characters and a horror/supernatural element- then I would recommend they try this book out. But it if's already not your cup of tea, this book won't change your mind about that.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
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