Influence, by Chris Parker

Publisher: Urbane | Publication date: 1st March 2014 | Edition: Paperback (review copy)

I select my prey with care. I talk to them so that I can listen. I listen so I can see…

Influence by Chris Parker

An unnerving read, one that really gets into your head.

You and I follow the herd. The killer, it seems, does not.

“Influence” is a consulting agency, the brainchild of one Marcus Kline. He’s a seemingly arrogant know-it-all, who knows your mind better than you do. People hire him, people that need help to turn themselves around.

Nothing gets passed him – he believes he’s the best at what he does – which is influencing people by scientifically reading their every move. That’s what he gets paid for, to teach people how to communicate effectively, take charge, and in turn influence their own lives and those around them.

Marcus is so emotionally detached in his work, he could give the deep-seated, psychological side of Sherlock Holmes a run for his money! He notices (then analyses) something so invisible that it’s undetectable to everyone else. He has a gift, which he has perfected over many years. But if he’s not careful, his ‘perfection’ could alienate even his closest allies.

When a gruesome and unique murder takes place, Marcus’s ability is the reason why his friend, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jones, consults with him. But it’s not long before they realise that all hell will soon break loose, as a series of events unfold, affecting them both and those close to them.

I’m not giving away any of the plot, as you need to experience the killer’s mind games for yourself. Let me just say that the story builds to a shocking crescendo in a way you cannot fathom. That ending really throws you quite a curve ball!

I hadn’t the faintest clue what to expect with this book, but I was overwhelmed by the way this story was tackled. The characters are genuine, their individual lives are on full display, and the cascading plot with its bubbling undercurrents make for a great read.

And my favourite part? Although exceptionally creepy, throughout the book the ‘killer’ offers to us various monologues. These were particularly unsettling, as they have the knack of making you feel that you are the intended audience. The writer has successfully created the killer’s voice, so it speaks to you directly from the page.

Recommended to anyone looking for a crime thriller that’s just that little bit quirkier than the norm.

Rating: 4.5

(My thanks to Matthew of Urbane Publications for providing a copy of this book for review.)

You can follow the author on Twitter: @Chjparker | Publisher: @urbanebooks & @urbanepub


One thought on “Influence, by Chris Parker

  1. Pingback: Influence, by Chris Parker – Tracey-anne's Weblog

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