Title: The Book of Paul
Author: Richard Long
Publisher: Open Eyes
Release Date: June 7th, 2012
Available to order here: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
“Never alive…and never dead…”
In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure “beyond
all imagining”—an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of
ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the authentic alchemical rituals for transforming thought into
substance, transmuting matter at will…and attaining eternal life.
When a lusty, East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with a battle-hardened loner, they
are overwhelmed by the intensity of their feelings. Rose and Martin soon discover they are
unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At
the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who
guards the book’s occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.
The action is relentless as Martin and Rose fight to escape Paul’s clutches and Martin’s destiny
as the chosen recipient of Paul’s sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology
converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the ultimate
power in the universe—the Maelstrom.
Read the first few sample chapters here >> http://www.thebookofpaul.com/excerpt
About the Author
He started life in the school of hard knocks and worked to create his own rags to riches story of
troubled kid turned successful advertising executive.
His debut novel, The Book of Paul, is a dark, thrilling, and psychologically rich supernatural
horror/thriller that blends mythology, science and mystery into a page-turning addiction.
Richard is also writing a YA novel, The Dream Palace, primarily so that his children could read
his books.He lives in Manhattan with his wife, two amazing children and their wicked black cat, Merlin.
Connect with Richard on the following links:Website: http://www.thebookofpaul.com
You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will beall right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below.Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hop- scotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to squarenumber five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-ging- ham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.Paul leaned closer, his keen ears straining to pick up the faint sound of her shiny leather shoesscraping against the grimy concrete. He focused even more intently and heard the even fainterlilt of her soft voice. Was she singing? He pressed his ear against the glass and listened. Sureenough, she was singing. Paul smiled and closed his eyes and let the sound pour into his ear likea rich, fragrant wine.“One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…”He listened with his eyes closed. Her soft sweet voice rose higher and higher until…the singingsuddenly stopped. Paul’s eyes snapped open. The girl was gone. He craned his neck quickly tothe left and saw her being pulled roughly down the street. The puller was a large, light-skinnedblack man, tugging on her hand/arm every two seconds like he was dragging a dog by its leash.At first, he guessed that the man was her father, a commodity as rare in this part of town asa fresh-scrubbed girl playing hop- scotch. Then he wondered if he wasn’t her father after all.Maybe he was one of those kinds of men, one of those monsters that would take a sweet, purething to a dark, dirty place and…And do whatever a monster like that wanted to do.Paul pressed his face against the glass and caught a last fleeting glance of the big brown man and the tiny red-checkered girl. He watched the way he yanked on her arm, how he shook his finger, how he stooped down to slap her face and finally concluded that he was indeed her one and only Daddy dear. Who else would dare to act that way in public?“Kids!” Paul huffed. “The kids these days!”He laughed loud enough to rattle the windows. Then his face hard- ened by degrees as hepictured the yanking daddy and the formally happy girl. Hmmm, maybe he was one of thoseprowling monsters after all. Paul shuddered at the thought of what a man like that would do.He imagined the scene unfolding step by step, grunting as the vision became more and moreprecise. “Hhmph!” he snorted after a particularly gruesome imagining. “What kind of a bugcould get inside your brain and make you do a thing like that?”“Monsters! Monsters!” he shouted, rambling back into the wasteland of his labyrinthineapartments, twisting and turning through the maze of lightless hallways as if being led by aseeing-eye dog. He walked and turned and walked some more, comforted as always by thedarkness. Finally, he came to a halt and pushed hard against a wall.His hidden sanctuary opened like Ali Baba’s cave, glowing with the treasures it contained.He stepped inside and saw the figure resting (well, not exactly resting) between the flickeringcandles. At the sound of his footsteps, the body on the altar twitched frantically. Paul movedcloser, rubbing a smooth fingertip across the wet, trembling skin and raised it to his lips. It tastedlike fear. He gazed down at the man, his eyes moving slowly from his ashen face to the rusty nails holding him so firmly in place.The warm, dark blood shining on the wooden altar made him think about the red-gingham bunny again.“Monsters,” he said, more softly this time, wishing he weren’t so busy. As much as he wouldenjoy it, there simply wasn’t enough time to clean up this mess, prepare for his guests and trackher down. Well, not her, precisely. Her angry tugging dad. Not that Paul had any trouble killinglittle girls, you understand. It just wasn’t his thing. Given a choice, he would much rather kill herfather.And make her watch.
"The Book of Paul" by Richard Long is, and I have to admit this to begin with, is not the kind of book that I usually pick up. I'm a HUGE fan of thrillers, so the premise was incredibly intriguing to me - and boy am I glad that I decided to give this book a try! You may have seen me describe many a thriller as being "atmospheric" - well, I love using that adjective because the truth is, I really believe the setting and the atmosphere are KEY, especially in a thriller or mystery. "The Book of Paul" is completely brilliant because although the narrative is absolutely engrossing, the book is thoroughly absorbing in it's ability to creep you out with the build-up of its creepy atmosphere and chilling setting. This book defies any genres, because it is the amalgamation of many genres in one - horror, supernatural, paranormal, romance, thriller, and mystery. And the beauty of it is, it does justice to all of the above, it is all of the above, without focusing too much on one or the other.
In addition to the creepy, dark and foreboding nature of this book - it is also a novel of multi-faceted and multi-dimensional characters. Characters like Martin, who is a truly troubled character, but beneath the surface lies a decent human being marred by the inadequacy of his upbringing. And then there's Rose, whose presence seems to have a positive effect on Martin, is herself a damaged woman with a past - but in the short time that they come to know each other, they tend to understand and connect with each other, and soon become important to one another. Then, there is Paul - and I left him for last because I believe him to be the most complex character of all - he is truly a despicable being, a gross and negligent man who has almost no redeeming qualities. But as flawed as he is, it's absolutely riveting to read about his character and his atrocious deeds!
The timeline of the narrative is quite short, and comprises of only a few days - but we are able to appreciate the past of the characters via Martin's memories, which he has suppressed, and via journal entries made by the narrator. The narrator is the main character of the book, and the story revolves around him, but all the characters are so absolutely essential to the story that it is absolutely impossible to pin-point any important characters. This book is a roller-coaster ride, with a fireworks to boot - it is crazy, it is zany, it is thoroughly enjoyable, and it will puzzle you...until you get to a little past halfway, and then things fall into place. But here's the unique thing about Richard Long's book - even though the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, the premise is still so unique, and so crazy, that one cannot help but be completely hypnotized by it. A part of your brain begins to accept it, and the other part is astonished that such events have come to transpire in the course of the narrative. I really want to go ON and ON about it, but I would not want to give too much away.
Believe me, anyone with an inquisitive mind, and a penchant for the weird or scary would love to read this book. But be prepared, some parts of the book are quite disturbing, and include torture and mutilation - if you are not someone who can handle the gore, this may not be the book for you. However, if you are able to stomach such indelicacies, then this is the kind of book that is sure to baffle you in the best way possible! Let me forewarn you - this book is a conundrum wrapped in a riddle, it is both puzzling and thoroughly riveting to read. This book will send tingles up your spine as you read, and a feeling of dread will permeate your being as you advance through the story, you will probably check the deadbolts and windows of your home twice, if not thrice, and you might even end up having to sleep with a night-light on....but trust me, whatever the case may be, this book is sure to bamboozle you with its awesomeness - I can't wait for the rest of the books in the series!!!
My Rating : 5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publicist for the author of this book. I was not compensated monetarily, or in any other way, for my opinion. The opinions stated in this review are solely mine, and are not representative of views of the author, or publishing company, of this book.