Jake Hatcher is a military interrogator who was at the top of his game and mission when he was wrongly imprisoned by the military. The guards of the prison are slowly trying to break him down, to get him to act out so that he serves a longer sentence, but so far Hatcher has endured, he is only a few more weeks till release. However, release comes early for as he finds out that his brother has died while trying to save a woman's life, but Hatcher does not have a brother. Hatcher soon finds out that there are quite a few secrets that his family has hidden from him, all that play a key role in his up coming fight. Hatcher is entering into a Sadistic man's game where he plays a more vital role than even he realizes, and all he is really fighting for is saving the World from becoming a new Hell.
This book was okay, definitely on the darker side of things and had some horror aspects to it, which I liked, however I found it hard to get into the story that Schwaeble has set out. I thought the story started out really dramatic and then with the introduction of the main character as he is in prison, and I really thought this was going to be a great book, I just found the story did not pick up from there. The writing style good and fairly easy to follow, I really enjoyed the action scenes in the book, there were some good twists and turns, it was storyline that missed the mark for me. I really did think that this book was going to be more militaristic and apocalyptic.
I liked Hatcher enough as a lead character, he leans on the side of an anti-hero, which is my preference, however, I felt for the most part I really did not get to know Hatcher outside of the very basics. I really liked that Hatcher was are interrogator for the military, and I hope that Schwaeble will explore this more in future books. It was interesting to see how Hatcher was able to dissect the police's interrogation ways. I think that Schwaeble could used more of this talent as he read people or actually have him partake in more interrogation that just one scene (which I found very interesting in the techniques that were used). I really just wanted more of these aspects.
The villain in the this book is very sadistic and evil.There are some very disturbing scenes involving Valentine and his victims, not for the faint of heart that is for sure. Lets just say that the book starts out with Valentine removing a victims heart, while she is still alive. I know this part had me clutching my chest, and really what I thought would be the set up for the rest of the book. And I have stated it so many times before, Humans are so much worse than any monster that is out there and Valentine is one very very twisted character.
I was shocked with the amount of sex or sexual references in the book, not that they were a constant thing, I have never read a book by a male author that had this much sex in the book. I did eventually became annoyed with not only the sex (or should I say rape or suggestion of rape) but also the amount of times where the author had the main character have a hard on for an attractive female. I understand that he has just gotten out of prison after a about a 12 month stay, but I did not think that the whole premise of the book would really be about sex. As I said really shocked me that the author put so much focus on sex.
As I stated this book was an okay read and debut for me. I really wanted Schwaeble to explore to more of who Hatcher is and the specific skills that he has and I for some reason I had a different plot and premise in mind after reading the back of the book. I think I will read the next one to see if Schwaeble is able to explore more of Hatcher, but I probably wont be picking it up right away like after some debuts I have read.
Note: There are some torture and sexual sadism scenes that are fairly descriptive, that some individuals may find disturbing to read.