I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury on my blog today.
They promised the boy he’d be safe – they lied! When eleven-year-old John McCormack’s mother is murdered, he is placed in the care of Pastor Ian Stone and his family. Clearwater House is a far cry from the squalid flats he’s been used to, but John soon learns that Pastor Stone’s perverted form of religion is anything but compassionate. As Stone attempts to purify John’s soul of “dangerous levels of toxicity”, it becomes increasingly clear he’s at the mercy of a madman. Who can John talk to when no one wants to listen? Who can he trust when all he knows is betrayal? A Prayer for the Broken is the story of one child’s desperate fight to escape a sadistic killer who has complete control over him.
A Prayer for the Broken is a dark, dark read by Mark Tilbury. We follow eleven-year-old John McCormack, who has already suffered in his young life, following the murder of his mother. After being in temporary foster care, he is adopted by a priest, Pastor Stone and his family. But Pastor Stone has a very specific reason for adopting John. Pastor Stone believes it is his mission to rid the world of evil, and he sees John as one of his biggest challenges. But as things begin to get tough for John, what can he do to stop this from happening? Who would believe an eleven-year-old over the word of a respected priest?
I really felt for John. He is still struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother. Now he is being subjected to an unimaginable level of torture. This is not an easy book to read, and it does get quite heavy at times. There were often times when I wondered how things could ever get better for John, and I couldn’t see this ending well for him.
While he is in Pastor Stone care, John makes friends with another boy, Brendan, who is another boy who Pastor Stone has adopted. The pair strike up a strong friendship bound by their united hatred for Pastor Stone and everything he has subjected them to. It the scenes in which they were together that provided some light in the darkness. It’s hard to imagine what would have become of John if he didn’t have Brendan to talk to.
I took an intense disliking towards Pastor Stone very early on. He takes seriously the mission he believes God has given him, and this is what makes him so dangerous. If he believes God is telling him to do something, he won’t fail to act on it. It did make me think that similar cases to John and Brendan’s, have more than likely happened in the world. Perhaps they are still happening in the world. This is what makes it very scary to think about. On the one side, Pastor Stone is a respected pillar of the community. It shows that you can never really know what is going on behind closed doors and how blinded we can become.
I was rooting for John and Brendan to get their revenge on Stone. I could see just how much his actions had had an effect on them. They are afraid even to tell the police what is going on. This is when you can see just how vulnerable the boys are and how much of a control Stone has over them.
A Prayer for the Broken is an intense, fast-paced read. If you enjoy dark psychological thrillers, then this is the book for you.
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication date: 25th September 2020 (paperback) 5th October 2020 (kindle)
Print length: 432 pages
A Prayer for the Broken is available to buy: