Book Review: Nameless (The Hellbound Anthology), by David McCaffrey

Publisher: Britain’s Next Best Seller

Publication date: 17th May 2017

Source: My own purchased copy

…real power is not given, it is taken.

Welcome to the Obadiah Stark appreciation society, with followers so hopelessly devoted to their murderous idol’s philosophy that they personally subscribe to his macabre brand of ‘making a point’ by taking the lives of unwilling volunteers themselves.

Stark, a serial killer known also as ‘The Tally Man’ for his trademark tattoos keeping count of his victims, blighted the world with his butchery and warped vision of society. The cult’s sole purpose is to continue the work of Stark, who they believe was treated unjustly (I wholeheartedly encourage you to read Hellbound, which is a reckoning of sheer magnificence before you embark on this brutal journey).

From the way his supporters revere Stark as a gift to humanity, I’m surprised they haven’t built a grisly theme park in his honour. Then again the property they reside in is a horrific playground, but a trip to Madame Tussauds it’s not – in fact, it wouldn’t even come close.

They have an interest in a certain character from Hellbound and given this person’s previous obsession with Obadiah Stark the cult leader happily parades obvious hints and clues as to their existence, as they know this individual will be powerless to resist the main attraction – a merciless exhibition of their authority with the capacity to carry on regardless.

With the exception of certain scenes representative of a classic slasher movie, the really scary thing is the cult’s conduct which operates with the composure of a hive – the drones busy themselves with their duties making sacrifices where required, no matter what that may be, recruiting new workers to further their cause. It makes you wonder what hideous catalyst could have occurred in these individual’s previous lives that would encourage them to believe their practices are acceptable in any way.

Nameless occupies the realms of horror / thriller and doesn’t hold back. In places, the procession of gruesome spectacles are so intensely savage and graphic to the point that I don’t think this book would be to everyone’s taste.

But, if this book has caught your attention you may also be interested in reading In Extremis, a short introduction into the magnitude of another terrifyingly furtive operation in the Hellbound Anthology – ‘The Brethren’, who have been making disconcerting appearances since the infamous days of James Maybrick, aka Jack the Ripper.

My curiosity is itching to know what scars Obadiah Stark could possibly leave behind next, despite existing as nothing but newspaper headline…

Rating:  4/5

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men
long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.’
Ernest Hemingway

One serial killer terrified the world. Imagine what an army of them could do…

A cult member is arrested at the scene of a brutal murder. She will only speak to former crime reporter, Joe O’Connell.

Joe’s obsession with Obadiah Stark a.k.a The Tally Man cost him everything. He is about to learn that Stark’s message did not end with his death.

They believe in what The Tally Man stood for. They believe in what The Tally Man did. But he was one, and they are many. Once they have you, they will never let you go…


(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

David lives in Redcar in the North East of England and works as an Infection Prevention and Control nurse in a local Acute trust. He has a Kelly, a Jake and a Liam.

A huge fan of Steve Alten, John Grisham and Lee Childs, David loves reading as much as he enjoys writing. Hellbound was his first novel, all thanks to Britain’s Next Bestseller and the aforementioned Steve Alten who took a chance on him as a writing coach client and taught him so much about what it takes to be a writer.

Hellbound was voted by W H Smith readers as one of 2014’s most underrated crime novels.

His second book, the novella prequel to Hellbound titled ‘In Extremis’ is currently available on and on both Kindle and paperback and is a Semi finalist in the Kindle Book Awards 2016. ‘In Extremis’ is also available as an audio book on Audible, Amazon and ITunes; Hellbound is due out as an audio book before the end of the year.

He is currently working on Nameless, the next book in the Hellbound Anthology which is due for release before the end of the year.

His project with Stephen Sayers, “By Any Means Necessary” is due out 15th November 2016.

A self professed geek, David loves Doctor Who, Arrow, Supernatural, Batman, Superman, D.C Comics, Person of Interest, Continuum, Gotham, Star Wars, The Flash, The Walking Dead, The Blacklist…beginning to see a pattern here?



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