A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury #bookreview #bogtour @MTilburyAuthor

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury on my blog today.

BLURB

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.

MY THOUGHTS

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:

Amazon UK

The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury #bookreview blog tour @MTilburyAuthor

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury today on my blog.

The Last One To See Her by [Mark Tilbury]

BLURB

He says he is innocent…so why did he lie?

Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.
Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.
Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?

The Last One To See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

MY THOUGHTS

Mark Tilbury writes dark and gritty crime fiction. In his latest book, The Last One To See Her, eleven-year-old Jodie Willis disappears after she visits the local shop. Three people are the last to see her alive, Matthew Hillock, a young man who has suffered a horrific trauma in his past, Jim Bentley, a drug dealer who has been on the police radar for years, and the shop owner. But witness statements quickly complicate the case. Matthew soon finds himself at the centre of the police probe, but even he isn’t confident of his innocence. As the police investigation deepens, Matthew has to consider the unthinkable.

The Last One To See Her was a really gripping read. Like Matthew’s family, I couldn’t believe that he was the one responsible for Jodie’s disappearance, and even as the evidence mounted, I felt sure that someone was setting him up. Matthew has been left with brain damage following a horrific attack on his family several years earlier when his father and sister were killed. It was only by pure chance that Matthew even survived the attack after being saved by his brother. I could easily see how Matthew could be made to be a scapegoat in this case, and you can see how quickly people turn against him, just because he is different, and this made me feel really sorry for him. Mark Tilbury paints a clear picture of just how vulnerable he is.

Jim Bentley is a character who will get under your skin. Violence comes as second nature to him, and from the very first moment when Mark Tilbury introduces him to us, he made me feel uncomfortable. A lot of the time, Jim expresses anger and frustration, and his overriding need for drugs drives this. Jim is also willing to do anything to cover up his crimes. I really hated Jim as I was reading. Making his characters come to life is what Mark Tilbury does really well, and I wanted the police to get to the real truth as I was sure that Matthew wasn’t involved.

Mark Tilbury doesn’t shy away from violence, and there are some quite graphic scenes in this book, so this wouldn’t be for the faint-hearted. The opening chapter is really dramatic as well, which had me hooked very early on. There are some terrifying moments as well which had my eyes glued to the page as I wanted to find out what happened next. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, I had to read on to find out how things were going to pan out.

Throughout the book, I was never certain who was responsible for Jodie’s disappearance. I could also still never entirely be sure about Matthew, and this was what kept me turning the pages, I really wanted him to be innocent, but I also had to know the truth. Mark Tilbury creates nail-biting suspense in the final chapters of this book as the plot unravels.

This is the first book I have read by Mark Tilbury, and I am certain that it won’t be the last book I read by him. The Last One To See Her is a read which you won’t want to put down!

Publisher: Tilbury Publishing

Publication date: 4th June 2020

Print length: 266 pages

The Last One To See Her is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

LOTSH-blog-tour (1)