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Bolder Blindsided – 3.5 Star Book Review

Welcome to one of the January 1st review stops on the book blast for Bolder Blindsided by Janice Tremayne, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpts, other reviews, and a giveaway! (More on that at the e of this post.)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

Bolder Blindsided
Zack Bolder Book One
by Janice Tremayne

Publishing 5 January 2021

Genre: Supernatural Suspense, Thriller
Page Count: 261
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

An Australian alpine ghost town. A priest turned supernatural detective. A missing persons cold case. Will bolder track down the voracious demon?

When Detective Wellock hushers in Zack Bolder to investigate a missing person case in the Australian ghost town of Walhalla, they form the most formidable tag team of supernatural investigators, working for the police branch for unexplained crimes. Perched amongst the alpine area, this tourist backed ghost town is renowned for its gold mining past and stories of hardship, deprivation, and death. It becomes a perfect setting for an unexplained missing person’s cold case.

When Bolder realizes every demon has a weakness—it’s blindside, he confronts the demonic presence, head on for an ultimate encounter to save the town. As this evil entity is sly as a fox with more turns that a two-mile car racetrack, Bolder must be at his best to overcome the devil that has cursed the town since 1876.

Can Bolder uncover the curse that strangleholds the town and thrust out the evil entity before more innocent people go missing and suffer an imminent fate?

Bolder Blindsided is the first book of the Zack Bolder Supernatural Suspense Thriller Series. If you like a fast-moving, energetic, and nail-biting supernatural suspense thriller guaranteed to raise your heartbeat, then you will love this story by 2020 USA Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Finalist in Supernatural Fiction, Janice Tremayne.

Pick up your copy today and meet Zack Bolder!

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Excerpt

The screams continued to play out on the phone. Jamie was not holding it during the attack, but it laid on the floor next to him with the video running.

“He wanted us to see it,” said Bolder.

“Who, what do you mean?”

“The demon…he purposely put the phone on an angle so it could capture his possession of Jamie.”

“He wanted us to watch the whole dastardly act?”

“More than that…he wanted to make us sick. Frighten us into submission—give up and walk away.”

Fixated on the five-minute video; images of Jamie handled by the demon played out in the act of evil. The devil tied his feet and hands, and they slowly lifted him from the ceiling upside down—hanging like a bat. Jamie screamed in pain as the demon ripped off the skin from his torso to prepare the marking of the pentagram. Blood oozed from the deep red exposed flesh as agonizing cries of help went unanswered.

It was an evil creature with huffs and a tail…hairy lower body in the shape of a dog. The upper torso of the demon was human, and it still managed to stand on two feet. A face with an elongated nose, pointed ears and sabre like teeth that slithered with an extended tongue. Pale, and it looked like death with bloodshot eyes and deep crease lines along the cheeks. It had no hair on its head other than pultruding blue veins that looked ready to burst.

My Review

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads

Thank you to the author Janice Tremayne, to Goddess Fish Promotions, and to the team at Book Sirens for the opportunity to review this book. Complimentary access to the ebook has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Bolder Blindsided is a paranormal mystery set in the very small town of Walhalla, Australia, where tourism thrives due to the town’s haunted status and old mining history. Tourists start going missing in paranormal ways, so local law enforcement calls in Father Zack Bolder, a priest trained in paranormal crimes and mysteries. What he discovers will change the town forever, perhaps for the better once he’s done with it, but in a way that will leave the town unable to go back to life as it was before the recent string of missing and murdered tourists.

This book was quite entertaining, and as you can tell from the numerous 4 and 5 star reviews it already has on Goodreads, people are loving it! I was definitely drawn in as well, and the need to know how everything would play out kept me turning pages at a very rapid pace. I loved the quaint setting and getting to know Zack Bolder and the various faces who kept cropping up as he and the lead local investigator worked through this mystery. Bolder himself is a compelling protagonist, and a great choice to carry what will be a series of similar paranormal mysteries.

Now, while I’m not Australian myself, I’ve follow enough Aussie content creators online for long enough to understand that names like Gazza and Macca (both come up in this book, with Gazza being one of the first tourist victims) are nicknames, not legal names. While I can accept the locals using these names, I found it distracting that law enforcement never once used legal names for any missing character with a nickname like Gazza. It’s written down somewhere in a case file, surely. Nobody working this case read the file before talking to the locals and used the legal name?

Point of view jumps around in this book, essentially taking the reader into the mind of whoever’s where the plot is currently happening but while avoiding too many revealing glances into the minds of those responsible for what’s going on. We get a lot of Bolder, obviously, but we also get each victim as they meet their end, local investigator Detective Wellock, and a few other characters along the way. The only indication that a POV shift is taking place is a visual gap break in the formatting of the text. It becomes clear whose head we’re in within the first sentence or two, but POV shifts didn’t feel predictable to me. I’ve read many books with multiple POVs where you knew when a shift was due. Shifts in this book were always a surprise. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it didn’t disrupt reading too much for me, but I know it can be a turn-off for some readers so I’ve decided to mention it. What I didn’t like about the ever-changing POVs is that the level of omniscience the narrative voice has is inconsistent. Sometimes we get throwaway lines that delve into another character’s mind when they aren’t the POV character and other times we don’t. It started to become obvious to me which characters were going to end up being involved because the narrator wasn’t so loose with those sort of random insights for those characters.

The way this book is presented to potential readers gives the impression that we’re about to embark on a paranormal investigator version of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but I don’t get the sense that Bolder has a Watson for this series. Wellock could be considered Watson for this mystery, but presumably Bolder will be in a different town with a different law enforcement team in each book. That may hurt the Holmes association as Bolder won’t become close and trusting with his Watson, and that changes how he works with people. For example, early on in this book a minor character gives Bolder a tip about a character he’s already been in contact with and who comes up a lot. Bolder takes the tip at face value and it definitely makes us, the reader, suspect this character. It’s clear why Bolder doesn’t share this tip with the police chief, who doesn’t believe in too much paranormal stuff and wouldn’t believe the old lady who said it, but by this point in the book, we already trust Wellock to believe such things. Why doesn’t Bolder relay the tip to Wellock? He simply tells Wellock “there’s something up with” the suspect. This sort of lack of trust ommission is going to keep cropping up if he only ever has temporary Watsons.

I would like to make a minor note in case someone in charge of file formatting for future editions is reading: the mobi file I was given through BookSirens had sections that overrode my reading colour and font settings in the Kindle app and presented black default font text on strips of white background. This is a potential accessibility issue for readers who are making adjustments to compensate for eyesight or comprehension disabilities, rather than just picking what’s comfortable like I was doing.

Overall this is a good book with a great paranormal mystery to be solved and a very compelling protagonist. I would recommend this book to readers of mystery and suspense/thriller genres, regardless of whether or not they normally read paranormal, but especially if they like paranormal. This is also a great option for fans of Australian fiction. If, however, you’re simply looking for a strong Holmes-derivative mystery, this might not be it. I’m looking forward to seeing what Zack Bolder gets into in future books!

About the Author

Janice Tremayne is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning ghost and supernatural writer. Janice is a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2020 International Book Awards in Fiction-Supernatural.

She is an emerging Australian author who lives with her family in Melbourne. Her recent publication, Haunting in Hartley, reached number one on the Amazon kindle ranking for Occult, Supernatural, and Ghosts and Haunted Houses categories, for hot new releases and bestsellers.

Janice is well-versed in her cultural superstitions and how they influence daily life and customs. She has developed a passion and style for writing ghost and supernatural novels for new adult readers.

The concept of writing the Haunting Clarisse series was spawned over a cup of coffee many years ago, and she has not looked back since. Her books contain heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and thought-provoking ghost and paranormal experiences that deliver a new twist to every tale.

Email: author@janicetremayne.com

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Giveaway Alert!

Janice Tremayne will be awarding a paperback copy of the book (USA & UK) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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