22 March 2018

The Muse: A Novel Of Unrelenting Terror

A 2018 Top Rated Read

By Arjay Lewis

Paperback 524 pages
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing (27th July 2017)
ISBN-13 978-1548322670

📕My Review

Jack Court leads a double life. To outward appearances he's a massively successful and extremely wealthy horror novelist but unbeknown to all, except Sheriff Trajan, he's also a bloodthirsty serial killer who takes immense pleasure in disfiguring his victims. Still grieving for his murdered wife, Trajan is determined to prove Court's guilt for her brutal slaying and put him away for good.

Secretly residing inside Jack Court's body is a symbiotic primordial creature. Whilst Court gives it a place to exist and thrive; the creature, in return, gives Court his amazing writing ability. With it comes a thirst to kill... and Court is happy to do the creature's bidding.  

When Court is almost killed in a traffic accident, the creature exits his badly injured body and takes up residence inside a new host. After a series of 'jumps', it eventually settles in the body of struggling author Harry Godwine. 

Without his companion inside him, Court begins to experience horrific physical changes and desperately searches for the creature so he can reclaim its power once again. Will Sheriff Trajan be able to stop him and bring him to justice for his monstrous crimes?    

I enjoyed this book enormously. I thought it was extremely original and thrilling. In my honest opinion I didn't find it gratuitously gory - the graphic descriptions were minimal and what I'd describe as 'tasteful' (if horror can be described as such!). I've loved horror since my early teens and get a massive pleasurable kick from this genre; therefore it's fantastic when a book crosses my path with an entirely new perspective and this is what The Muse did for me.

I've read plenty of self-published novels where the author has haphazardly thrown together a jumbled, badly edited and poorly executed book. Let me tell you that this isn't one! This book is well-plotted, contains good characterisation and has been expertly proofread. The whole package is entirely professional; from the cover design to the writing. This is an author who knows his craft. I was very pleasantly surprised.

One observation I'd like to bring attention to is the somewhat misleading strapline 'A Novel Of Unrelenting Terror'. I wouldn't go quite so far as to describe it as THAT! I suspect a ploy to make it more appealing to the horror market is at work here. It really didn't need it. As mentioned earlier, the horror was on the not-too-gory side. What made this book stand out for me was the excellent writing, its originality and the flawless pacing. A very enjoyable and satisfying read.

My thanks to author Arjay Lewis for providing me with a copy of this book.

Barnsey's Books Rating 

📗The Blurb

Famed novelist Jack Court has a secret: the wealthy writer is a serial killer. He has another hidden treasure, a small antediluvian creature that dwells within his body and gives him youth, strength and a superhuman ability to avoid capture. On his trail is Sheriff Neil Trajan, who is certain Court murdered his wife three years earlier.

When the author is hit by a careless driver, the creature leaves him and through a series of events, ends up with lowly writer, Harold Godwine. Godwine begins to write faster and better, but is troubled by dreams of blood.

However, Jack is healing and devolving into something not quite human. As Court seeks the young author, he leaves a trail of destruction, pursued by Trajan and his FBI associate, Bill Morris.

Will Jack Court do anything to retrieve the companion that inspires his dark desires?

📘The Author

Arjay Lewis (aka R.J. Lewis) is an award-winning author, magician and entertainer. He has experienced every level of show business from street-performing to Broadway. 

Arjay’s published stories have appeared in H.P. Lovecraft Magazine Of Horror, Weird Tales and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. He also has been published in the Anthology The Ultimate Halloween.

He has collaborated on several films including: DOWN IN FLAMES, The True Story Of Tony ‘Volcano’ Valenci- which has won ten Film Festival awards. His screenplay for DUMMY (co-written with Pamela Wess) is the winning screenplay for the 2017 Garden State Film Festival. It also won 4th place in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Screenplay Competition.

Arjay is married to his wife, Debra and has one daughter, Rayna. He is currently performing on the Princess Cruise Line as the ‘Magic Maker’ in the hit show, MAGIC TO DO.

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