A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale #1) by Rodd Clark

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Christian Maxwell, a writer with a background in psychology, is caught up in the idea of his bestseller and already attracted, repelled, and a little excited by his subject. Gabriel Church, a killer, figures he might as well make money on his story rather than someone else, or that’s what we’re told. They both share a dark sense of humor and some methodical and obsessive traits. Gabe, of course, is thrilled with his own tale, having the attention of Christian, as well as being able to establish some sort of authority over him. Christian has put himself in a precarious legal position since Gabe hasn’t been caught yet. His obsession with news stories of murders lead him to Gabe. While someone with his research abilities and way of seeing patterns might have been a great asset to law enforcement, his loner style, lack of good judgement, and ethical flexiblity really wouldn’t be.

Here are some things that bothered me. We are basically told the author’s view of the characters, an apology (an explanation or defense), to understand how the story turns out the way it does. “We all weave the patterns of our lives by our actions, and possibly by the desires we maintain to be with others similar to ourselves.” While I find the statement profound, I feel like this should have been a preface, or even a postscript and we shouldn’t still be in this phase in chapter two. The POV (point of view), switches around all over the place. That quote is in first person plural. The author then goes back to dual third person, limited (one character’s view of another) and omniscient (a god view type of third person with facts not in evidence, or knowledge only the author would have.) This is a stylistic choice that is not my preference, but it left me feeling detached from either character, which in the case of a serial killer might be a very good thing. There were actually several typos–missing or repeated words–at regular intervals in the version I received. The story is sometimes hard to follow because it teeters between calling the killer Gabe and Church, but usually uses the writers first name. The story is at times contradictory, like how Gabe can’t see or remember a face because the white light is so bright (the man kills because of a victim’s white aura, like it is a calling from God), yet later we are told he remembers every face and will never forget.

As you would expect, the story wanders through different time periods as the killer talks about kills and his childhood based on his own agenda and the questions he is asked. He also amuses himself by drawing Christian in and using his sexuality against him. The way they dance around the issue of sex is very odd, but then everything about their interactions is odd. Gabe says he is heterosexual, while we witness Christian’s epiphany that he is gay, but that didn’t quite work for me. It seemed more like they both need a certain type of circumstance for the act to have any meaning, and this is it. I do not like the idea that meeting Christian can save or heal Gabe. There can be no redemption for this man and, no I don’t care about his crappy childhood. We are privy to his rapid changes in mood and understand he is unstable. We know he has killed at least 40 people.

No one in this book is likeable. There is no one to root for. I’m not even sure why this needed to be fiction. I can find plenty of true crime novels if I want. It is really important that after listening to details of murders all night, and having sex, they are now sightseeing and giving us a history lesson on the surrounding Seattle area? There is also a murder described from the victim’s point of view for no reason I can find. All of the sudden out of nowhere, Christian is being called Boy, feeling submissive, and Gabe calls himself Daddy. Is this a joke? “You look horny, baby. You want a ride on this love rocket”?

I am actually rather speechless. I can’t recommend this. I actually don’t care about what happens to these characters. This also needs editing. I think, at chapter fourteen, I am going to DNF.

I quite liked the cover art by Natasha Snow. It shows Gabriel on a lonely path heading towards the light, reminiscent of how he chooses his victims. The cathedral window overlay shows hints at his broken, chaotic mind and his view that he is on a mission.
Sales Links:  NineStar Press Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 361 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by NineStar Press (first published January 30th 2015)
Original TitleRubble and the Wreckage
ASINB07CJZVXNS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Gabriel Church Tale #1

In the Spotlight: Ash and Cinders (A Gabriel Church Tale #3) by Rodd Clark (excerpt and giveaway)

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ash-and-cinders

Title:  Ash and Cinders”

Genre:  M/M Romantic Thriller

Author:  Rodd Clark

Ash and Cinders is the third book in the Gabriel Church Tales. It’s been a successful series from the debut of Rubble and the Wreckage, and continues the story of a killer’s transformation from a soulless and driven madman to someone desperate to understand himself and his place in the universe in Torn and Frayed.

The final book, Ash and Cinders, places our main character of Gabriel Church in the greatest danger of his life. As a successful serial killer with delusions of some grand design in every murder, he proves to the reader that he is a remorseless and dangerous man. But the Gabriel Church tales are not what they appear, as fans find themselves rooting for the killer’s success and hoping that he will find love and peace with his one-time biographer, Christian Maxwell.

The series has received glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so I encourage you to see for yourselves what the fuss is all about. The first book in the series, Rubble and the Wreckage will be only 99c, and the second book, Torn and Frayed only $2.99, during the tour and up to the release of Ash & Cinders on December 5.

“…this book pulls no punches, makes no apologies, and basically kicks ass and takes names! Grab it if you want a mindbending, sexy read that will leave you wanting book two with a quickness!” (Bike Book Reviews)

“The sequel to RUBBLE AND THE WRECKAGE has torn and frayed my nerve ends to the extent that it’s difficult to write about it. This book is a careening ride to hell in an old Dodge truck, its slick tires and rusty chassis eating the miles along the hard pavement of southwestern U.S. highways, up the spine of California, to the bones of the northwest its driver had once left behind. It’s a road trip through a diseased mind. It’s the odyssey of a killer, and it’s the voyage of a pitiable soul seeking God.” (Amazon reader)

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Book Blurb:

“It’s just the devil’s share. When life evens itself out and every bad guy gets what’s coming to em’ . . . it’s one of the few balancing things life really offers.”

Gabriel Church

Gabriel Church has done a bad, bad thing . . . and normally that doesn’t bother him too much. But everything changed when he met Christian Maxwell. Chris became his unholy grail. The thing he sought more than any other treasure, yet still a priceless pearl beyond his reach. Nothing he does seems to solidify any prospect of them being able to remain together, to live that happily-ever-after story. Even if he were to make a promise to stop his killing in the name of God, it would still only be a salty futility to wet and tempt his lips.

Christian Maxwell discovered a damaged soul inside Church, with a goodness plumbed somewhere below the visible surface. He saw pain shadowing his killer like some trailing footprint left moist in the sand. But he failed to recognize each victim, or the costs of every action the fugitive took for granted. He simply pushed those faceless victims to the dark recesses of his mind, hiding them from plain view as if they were discarded things, recollections intentionally forgotten.

The one thing Church knows with certainty is the writer is the only person who really knows him, and the only man other than himself who possibly understands where they are both headed. But life is about to get more twisted and dangerous. It begins with a backwards Deputy Sheriff and that same ill-fated chance that always prevented him from slowing down his pace or finding a peaceful place to rest with Chris Maxwell by his side.

Excerpt:

Looking at the man from across the room, one would never have imagined how dangerous he actually was. The serial killer was hot and threatening in his own physical way, but there seemed to be a sympathetic kindness scratching below the surface of those mirror-like pupils of his. At times they looked bluish, while other times they appeared to be color of industrial slate. But in that instant, they reminded the deputy of humid childhood summers and seeing a cool slab of concrete in the shade beckoning him to rest upon it.

He had been drawn like a magnet after meeting the man he only knew by the name Carl Whiting. And from the first second they spoke, he found himself wavering under the killer’s impressive build and mischievous crooked smile. He hadn’t known at the time, but the name Carl Whiting was only an alias. Nor did he know that he was meeting a killer who’d claimed a multitude of victims over several years and many miles of this vast country. He only knew there was something unique about his country drawl and those sinful eyes that hinted with sexual tension and risk.

Facing Gabriel Church alone in a room without backup would be intimidating to anyone, to say the least. Even the weight of Deputy Corso’s holstered sidearm didn’t seem to offer him much security. The killer strangely didn’t appear anything but relaxed and surprisingly at peace with himself.

“You know I kinda like the idea of being hunted,” the killer said quietly. “It sort of makes my dick hard, as if you couldn’t tell.”

As he said that, Gabriel readjusted himself in his chair, shifting slightly and opening his legs wider apart. The deputy could see that even concealed under his faded blue Levi’s there was a sizable bulge exposed that indicated he’d been telling the truth. The killer’s smile hadn’t evaporated once since they’d begun talking, and it made the officer think it was intended as his own challenge, daring the deputy to make his move as was expected that he would.

rod-clark

Author Bio

Rodd lives in Dallas, TX and can be reached through his web presence at RODDCLARK.COM.

He is interested in the M/M Mystery, Romance and Thriller genres, but has varied interests and enjoys many different types of books. With a dark and distinctively disturbing voice, he creates characters which are flawed yet intriguing; such as the Main Character of Gabriel Church in his Romantic Fiction “Rubble and the Wreckage” and “Torn and Frayed.”

Author Social Media

Website: http://www.roddclark.com/

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7741007.Rodd_Clark

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rodd-Clark/e/B00KGDSYSQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1