Calvin’s Head by David Swatling ~ Book Review by Leisa

Calvin's Head Title: Calvin’s Head

Author: David Swatling

Publisher: Bold Strokes Publishing

Cover Artist: Sheri

Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars


Life in Amsterdam isn’t all windmills and tulips when you’re homeless. Jason Dekker lives in a jeep with his dog, Calvin, on the outskirts of the city. A thesis on Van Gogh brought him to the Netherlands, and the love of Dutch artist Willy Hart convinced him to stay. But Willy is gone and Dekker is on the brink of a total meltdown. On a summer morning in the park, Calvin sniffs out the victim of a grisly murder. Dekker sees the opportunity for a risky strategy that might solve their problems. Unfortunately, it puts them directly in the sights of the calculating stone-cold killer, Gadget. Their paths are destined to collide, but nothing goes according to plan when they end up together in an attic sex-dungeon. Identities shift and events careen out of control, much to the bewilderment of one ever-watchful canine. Oscar Wilde wrote that each man kills the thing he loves. He didn’t mean it literally. Or did he?

Leisa’s View:

I don’t do scary. I don’t like scary movies. My husband and teenagers have learned that jumping out of the shadows to scare me might result in me screaming and running away, and might result in them getting a bloody nose – just depends on whether the fight or flight instinct kicks in first. And I don’t do scary books. That said, I did read Calvin’s Head, a very chilling and intense story (without screaming and running away, thank you very much!).

This story is told largely from the point of view of Dekker, a young American man who has found himself homeless with his dog, Calvin, in Amsterdam. He stumbles upon a murder victim, and this ultimately leads to him being trapped in a sex-dungeon with killer Gadget.

No doubt about it, Calvin’s Head is uniquely intriguing and suspenseful. However, I find the style of the book, which includes scenes from the point of view of Dekker, Gadget, and even Calvin the dog, to be almost too busy. This is not a romance, and there is no happily ever after. However, this is a tale that I find compelling. Dekker is a likable character, Calvin is a great dog, and Gadget is the quintesential evil villan. The story line is not predictable, and the reader is left with a satisfying resolution, even if it’s not all hearts and roses happily ever after.

This author has a fresh, exciting, and slightly disturbing voice that should be heard. I recommend Calvin’s Head to anyone who enjoys thrillers, and to anyone who wants to take a step outside of their comfort zone. I certainly did, and I’m glad that I read Calvin’s Head. Now if I can just sleep with the lights out again …

Buy Links

Bold Strokes Publishing
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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