As a direct descendant of the 19th century vigilante gang, the Bald Knobbers, Ezekiel Woods, Jr. has been indoctrinated into a world ruled by violence and a literal interpretation of the bible his entire life. Now, over a hundred years later, Zeke continues his ancestors’ crusade, spending his days camouflaged as an aloof middle-aged grocery store sacker and his nights in a farmhouse cellar, preparing captives’ souls for their ultimate destiny: redemption or death. His latest abductee, an indomitable Texan working her way through a third-life crisis, chooses another option: escape. Zeke must recapture this lost sheep or face a consequence far worse than any worldly fate: that God has forsaken him.
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: OP Media (April 5, 2018)
Right out of the gates so to speak, we’re introduced to Zeke, a serial killer with hardcore religious ideologies and a tormented life. Within the first three chapters the reader immediately develops both curiosity and sympathy for the character. Based on his award-winning screenplay,Christopher Graves novel dives into a world of cruelty both physical and psychological using a religious cult known as the ‘Bald Knobbers’. But before I go any further, this isn’t another story about a religious fanatic that kills women. We’ve seen plenty of movies with this particular plot line, but Sinner delivered a fresh spin on the subject.
While I’ll admit I’m not really a fan of stories with killers using religion to justify their appetites to ‘cleanse’ the earth, I did find Sinners to be an intriguing story.
Considering this is Christopher Grave’s debut novel, Sinners is a well written, plot rich story. There are multiple flashbacks which enhance the story and take the reader deep into Zeke’s tormented mind. While I found some of the pacing a little slow, and the constant biblical quotes a tad tiresome, Graves didn’t take any short cuts when it came to his character development.
One of the main protagonists Dani, will keep the reader hooked. After she’s captured by Zeke, she changes from a care-free woman into a fighter where every second of her existence is spent trying to escape the gates of hell…Zeke’s snake infested basement.
But it’s not just the protagonists that Graves focused his energies on. A character named Sylvia is a cruel, wicked individual who’s hellbent on enforcing Zeke’s wishes.
When you take a solid story with great characters and maintain a good balance of psychological terror and intensity, the outcome is usually a great read. Kudos to Christopher Graves for pulling me in to the hellish world of SINNER and keeping me there until the last page.
Overall, I’m giving ‘Sinner’ 4 stars for keeping me hooked on this intense page turner.
Sinner was just released so grab a copy or download it to your kindle today.
About the author:
Christopher Graves is an actor, filmmaker and award-winning screenwriter based in New York City.
Some of his performance credits include Sneaky Pete, Divorce, The Blacklist, Shades of Blue, Nurse Jackie, as well as many network on-camera and voice-over commercials for national brands.
He is the creator and writer of the comedic web series, With Friends Like These and the feature-length screenplay, Sinner, which was named Best Psychological Thriller Script by the New Hope International Film Festival.
Born in the hills of Mt. Vernon, Missouri, his introduction to the thriller genre started early. At five years old, his mother abducted him along with his younger siblings and fled across the country. They were given new names, a new home and a new beginning–until they were discovered and had to move again.
By the time he accepted his high school diploma (from the tenth school he had attended), Christopher had developed an intense affection for the terrifying plots of authors like Thomas Harris, David Lozell Martin, and James Patterson. Identifying with the grittiness in many of those stories, he had grown fond of the adrenaline surges that come with running and hiding.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two judgmental Siberian cats.