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Review: Frozen Blood by Joel A. Sutherland

Angel’s adjectives: tense and tragic

Ghosts, guilt and gore! How can you go wrong with that combination? Add in an apocalyptic storm and some dysfunctional family members, and you’ve got a story that won’t let you leave until it’s had its say.

The main character, Tara, is traveling to her father’s home to hear the reading of his will. On the way, she hits a deer. From that point on, the action doesn’t stop. As you learn more and more about Tara, her neuroses and her tragedies, you begin to feel a sense of impending doom that doesn’t let up until the very end of the book. I stayed up too late on more than one night, reading, unable to look away.

This is Joel’s first novel, and it has some tell-tale signs of a new writer, but it also shows great promise. Joel’s ability to weave a tense and dark story is remarkable. What he lacks in the advanced, technical aspects of writing, he makes up for in storytelling. Anyone can learn the technical aspects. Not everyone can grasp the flow and suspense of a good story arc. Whether intuitively or by intent, Joel has a knack for story.

FROZEN BLOOD was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for Best First Novel, and it’s clear to me why. It shows so much promise. If Joel continues to hone his craft and put word to paper, he will undoubtedly go on to make a name for himself.

Mark my words.

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