Payback by John Inman ~ Book Review by Feliz

PaybackInman Title: Payback

Author: John Inman

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars


When Tyler Powell’s life is torn apart by an unspeakable crime, the need for vengeance takes over. Every moment of every day, as he tries to pull his shattered existence together again, it’s all he can think about—revenge.

Will he give in to his rage and become the very thing he hates most? A killer?

Only with the help of Homicide Detective Christian Martin, the cop in charge of his case, does Tyler see the possibility of another life beginning—the astounding revelation of another love reaching out to him. A love he thought he would never know again.

Will he let that love into his life, or is he lost already? Is payback more important to Tyler than his own happiness? And the happiness of the man who loves him? Tyler is determined to find a way to exact his revenge without sacrificing all hope for a future with Christian, but it will be difficult—if not impossible—and in the end he might be forced to make an unbearable choice.

Feliz’s View:

I’m deeply ashamed to admit I’ve been putting up writing this review for a while now. But how do you explain loving a book that made you feel as uncomfortable as this book did me? Well.

Tyler Powell lost everything that mattered to him to an act of mindless, hateful violence, and only narrowly escaped with his life. Now, bereaved and full of helpless rage, all that’s left to him seems to be brooding on revenge. Sure, the detective assigned to his case seems very dedicated – there’s even a hint of vested interest right from the beginning on Detective Christian Martin’s side – but the criminal investigations move glacially slow. Much too slowly for Tyler’s liking. But if he goes hunting for the criminals on his own, if he turns into a vigilante avenger, won’t that make him just as despicable? And what about the tiny sliver of hope that is the budding friendship between Tyler and Christian?

This book asks a number of uncomfortable questions – and answers them, too. Which made it such a difficult read for me. Because, even if I wasn’t always at ease or even repelled by the answers given, I could mostly relate. Or more precisely, I didn’t like Tyler’s actions, found some of them outright disgusting, but I still could understand him, since I knew where he came from. Forgiveness, culture, even humanity are nice, but empty rhetoric when push comes to shove. Terrible things happening to people can brutalize anyone, no matter how sophisticated. Many dystopias rest on this postulate, and so does this book. But instead of some post-apocalyptic hero fighting zombies, we have here a normal everyday guy fighting his own inner demons – and submitting to them, to a point at least. A daunting idea.

On the other hand, there is love. The one Tyler seeks revenge for, and the one that he feels guilty about wishing for. In a twisted, backwards way, love is what redeems Tyler, literally and figuratively. Which brings us to Christian, the other character in this book I couldn’t like, but relate to. While Tyler acts out of hatred and rage, Christian’s motives are love and protectiveness. Can either justify a crime? A loaded question. Either way, something fell by the wayside – other people, in this case. Granted, those men did inhuman things, beastly things, but did that make them less than humans? Another loaded question. The story answered it, and even if I didn’t exactly agree, I also couldn’t fully disagree.

To sum it up, even if I didn’t like either of the main characters, this book kept me glued to the pages and fully immersed in the story. That’s partly due to the compelling writing of course, but also due to the way this book made me think. This wasn’t an easy read, it was a book that pushed me and kept pushing right to the end. I’m pretty sure I won’t read it again, but I can definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a challenge in their reading.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

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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