Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition | Publication Date: 4th July 2015 | Edition: Paperback (review copy)
I’m going to come right out and say it – Chance knocked me sideways. It’s one of those books I couldn’t stop myself wanting to read more of.
How utterly cliché, I hear you scoff. Well, yes. Usually, I can put a book down and wait to return to it until next time, but this one had me reading until half past two in the morning, something I haven’t been compelled to do for quite some time!
Be prepared to run into a few disturbing scenes, all of which channel an all-consuming suspense as an unhinged, cold-blooded killer is casually selecting people to die. Rather, the victims select themselves when they happen across something random, you might say quite by ‘chance’.
The regular characters are introduced little by little in the early chapters with a brief snapshot of their day and are revisited throughout to build a picture of their lives layer upon layer. As we are invited further into their world the story exposes a few skeletons tucked away at the back of a rickety closet or two, and offers a suspect for us to focus on. The victims carefully appear between these chapters of normal life, so everything clicks into place nicely when they overlap one another.
Cassie Janus is undoubtedly the star of the show. She’s one tough kid and can be spotted a mile off, as she’s the one wearing trousers flapping at half-mast. In addition to being bullied at school she bravely suffers with Epilepsy. Her domestic arrangements are at best questionable and a life or death situation quickly draws the attention of social services. But Cassie has a secret that she privately tries to conceal, as her intuitive behaviour allows her to ‘see’ things that no nine year-old should ever witness.
Her seizures open the door to some very bad things. Something she can’t explain is happening and the thoughts won’t stop rattling about in her head. Cassie must find someone to confide in, so she can free herself of the information she can’t understand. The problem is, she has no one to tell.
The victim’s desperate situations are echoed within Cassie and the impact is immense. As the story progresses her relationship with those around her changes, as they react to the ‘knowledge’ she selectively imparts in unexpected ways.
Chance rips your heart out then takes it along for the ride of its life. Seriously, just read it – it’s so cleverly executed. And by the way, that cover is right on the money.
(HUGE thanks to the author for providing a paperback copy of his book for review.)
“Pray she sees your pain before he ends it”.
A missing convict, a young woman assaulted and killed, an old man murdered in his home – all in different parts of London. With eight million inhabitants, bad things happen to good people all the time, but nine-year-old Cassie Janus knows there’s a connection, because she is the killer … in her nightmares at least.
Cassie has the rare ability to unearth the darkest emotions of others. She sees a past they would rather keep hidden and a future too horrific to comprehend.
Perhaps the killer can be stopped. If only she can make someone – her mother, her friend, her teacher – believe. Her words are dismissed, her sanity questioned. She knows they’ll trust her in the end … but by then, they’ll be facing death.
Peter Dudgeon started writing short stories at the age of fourteen, inspired by Stephen King’s early novels. At twenty-two he graduated in English Language and Literature and has since travelled the length and breadth of the UK (occasionally beyond) as a management consultant. He lives in North East Lincolnshire, with his wife, two daughters and a troublesome Labrador.
His debut novel ‘Ticket’ is available via Amazon Kindle
‘Chance’ is available on Kindle and in paperback in Amazon’s store.
The sequel to Chance, ‘Circle’ will be released in Autumn 2015.