Hellbound: The Tally Man, by David McCaffrey

Publisher: BNBS | Publication date: 28th November 2014 | Edition: Paperback (own copy)

There’s some interesting touches included within this book like the inclusion of the writer’s choice of a quote at the beginning of each chapter, for instance:

“Remorse: beholding heaven and feeling hell” – George Moore.

Right, the story:

hellbound by david mccaffrey

The Tally Man – an edgy psychological crime thriller

Absolom is a fictional prison located on the remote Blasket Islands, at the most westerly point in Ireland. It’s a place reserved for those convicted of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

And there is where this story begins, on the day of the execution of Obadiah Stark – The Tally Man. His arrogance when facing his fate for murdering 27 women over two Countries appals every witness in the room.

Joe O’Connell, a journalist who reported on Stark’s murders, has followed the killer’s life right up to his departure from this world and hoped to write book about it all. Yet, after interviewing the victim’s families and talking with professionals to gain an insight into what drove ‘The Tally Man’ to kill, something just doesn’t sit right. The families of the victims are still angry and don’t believe Stark has suffered enough. It appeared to Joe that nothing ever would be.

You soon realise that punishment can be meted out in alternative ways and the writer does a damned fine job in presenting this case. What if Obadiah Stark lost something he cared about? Surely that’s impossible, given that the man never cared for another soul during his lifetime, why should it be any different in death? What on earth, or indeed anywhere else, could make him accept a shred of responsibility?

I won’t elaborate further to enable you to make the discovery for yourself – it’s quite superb.

The writer offers historical reports concerning Stark’s mental state that are sandwiched between the main story, quickly draw you in and hold you there.

And the ending is pure gold. I’d read it again tomorrow just for THAT!

Despite it being a bit grim in places, likers of edgy, psychological crime thrillers will relish it.

Rating: 5/5

You can follow the author on Twitter: @daveymac1975