Book Review: The Author by T.J. Blake

20612139Title: The Author

Author: T.J. Blake

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Storycartel in exchange for an honest review.

Four years after his wife and children disappeared, Ryan Milligan decides it’s time to let go of the past and move to a new home on Mulberry Lane. Ryan hoped his new house and peaceful neighbourhood would help him to cope better with the pain of losing his family and to continue his search. Whilst settling in and writing his new novel, ‘Killing For Your Love’, he realises things are not what they seem…

“My new house is only a mile away from the home I used to live in with Tan and the kids, but now I feel like I’m in a different world. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been here before and done this before. There’s a presence here, I can feel it. There are things happening in this house that aren’t normal. I’m threatened by the lack of control I have over them.
There’s one room where I feel it most, and as I stare at the door leading down into the basement, it begins to creak open.”

In The Author, Ryan Milligan purchases a modest home on Mulberry Lane, a stark constrast to the well-protected, gigantic mansion he lived in before his wife and kids disappeared. He tries to cope with the past, with his wife leaving him – voluntary or not – and with the pain haunting his heart. He wants to continue work on the novel he started about his family’s disappearance, the police’s inquiry into his private life, and how eventually he came a suspect.

But the more time Ryan spends on Mulberry Lane, the more he thinks something is wrong. Very, very wrong. A local recluse behaves very peculiar toward him. Objects in his house start moving, items aren’t where he thought he left them, and the cellar door creeps open in the dead of night. His manuscript starts changing all on its own, as if someone else is doing the typing. A serial killer stalks the neighborhood, targeting young women.

What’s the connection? And can Ryan find out before it’s too late?

I understand what “The Author” was trying to do. I mean, the plot starts out pretty creepy, and the readers get the feeling they’re in the middle of a horror novel. Doors opening up at night, objects moving on their own accord. The plot screamed horror to me. It was also in the horror section on Storycartel.

Unfortunately it isn’t horror at all.

It’s a psychological thriller. I feel kind of cheated about the whole set up as a horror novel, only to have it turn out to be a psychological thriller then. And what a complicated thriller it is – so complicated there are some gaping plot holes. Or maybe just things that could’ve explained better. And in the end, the story barely makes any sense.

Without spoiling it for anyone, here are the burning questions I was left with at the end. Why go through all that trouble for something so stupid? Who the heck would set up such a scheme if it could’ve been a lot simpler? And who killed those young women and WHY? And would anyone really kill so many people for such a stupid goal?

I felt more frustrated than anything else by reading this novel. It’s like, the author started off with a good plot idea, but then got all of these side ideas, set up a puzzle that’s barely understandable, way too elaborate and quite frankly, doesn’t make any sense, and then couldn’t see the forest through the trees anymore. The plot ideas were okay, but mixed together, they didn’t match. Nobody would go through so much trouble for such a stupid goal. There were plenty of other ways to achieve their goal (and with their, I’m talking about the antagonists) that didn’t involve such an elaborate, complicated ruse.

The writing was okay, the characters were somewhat all right – although I could’ve gone without the insta-love between the protagonist and a married woman – but the plot was too complicated to be enjoyable. I usually don’t mind complicated plots, but they have to make sense. And they need to be explained. Here? Motives are highly questionable, character behavior seems over the top, lots of things are left unexplained, and it barely makes sense.


  1. Ugh! Again, the premise sounded so good. It sounds like a bit of a hot mess. I dislike it when things don’t make sense. I also get really disappointed when the supernatural turns out to be not so supernatural at all.

  2. Hi there, I’m very sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy The Author.
    As with any form of entertainment there are the good reviews and the bad, unfortunately this is a disappointing one. It is one however that I have read and taken note of. I aim to please but I simply haven’t.
    I hope that you’ll give another book of mine a chance in the future, I’m only 20 so I’m willing to listen to my critics and learn. Thanks for your time reading my book 🙂

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