Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel

Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel
Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel by R.S. Guthrie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Police Procedural with Supernatural aspects Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: The author approached me some time back, offering a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I already had this book, and it’s sequel, but agreed to read and review the book for him anyway.

Synopsis: Decorated Denver Detective Bobby Macaulay has faced down a truckload of tragedy over recent years. The death of his partner; the loss of his own leg in the line of duty; the companionship of his beloved wife to cancer; his faith in God to his inner demons.

After the man who ruined his leg and killed his first partner is executed, Macaulay becomes the lead detective investigating the Sloan's Lake murders. The method of killing in this double-homicide is so heinous it leads Macaulay and his partner down an ever-darkening path — one that must be traversed if they are to discover the evil forces behind the slaughter. 

Just when Bobby Macaulay is questioning the very career that has been his salvation, he will discover a heroic history buried within his own family roots: The Clan MacAulay — a deep family lineage of protectors at the very core of a millenniums-long war against unimaginable evil.

My Thoughts: I was a bit worried when I noticed how much talk there was in the synopsis about religion and faith, afraid that the story might end up being a bit preachy. Fortunately, it was not – just a decent police procedural with some supernatural elements. That those supernatural elements are demons under the leadership of Satan and Samhain (horribly distorted) is just part of the story.

Bobby Mac is an interesting person, and I enjoyed reading about him, although I was terribly confused at first over the similarities between him and Terrence, who is at the beginning of the book. It is all explained, though. There is one major plot discrepancy, though, that just really bothered me, and caused me to mark off. The explanation is in the next paragraph, but it does include spoilers, so skip the next paragraph if you want to skip the spoilers. General review continued after the jump.

Major spoilers included in this paragraph, but this explains why the star has been marked off – your choice whether or not to read it. If you want to skip the spoilers, just skip this paragraph. I noticed one major plot discrepancy. Supposedly the event that caused Terrence Macaulay’s excommunication from his role as a priest happened in 1947, while Bobby Mac was told his grandfather had died in WWII. However, supposing that Father Macaulay had his experience in 1947, and it wasn’t until after that when he was excommunicated, and it was only after that when he got married and had Patrick, and only later still that he died and Patrick went to live with his uncle... well, everything happened after WWII had already ended, so the timing is all off. While Mac is not initially aware of his true family history, I’m not sure exactly how they could have explained his grandfather dying well over a year prior to his father even being born. End section with spoilers

So, while I enjoyed the book, due to that issue, I have taken off one star, because I kept thinking about it and turning over in my mind and trying to figure out how it all fit together, and that kept distracting me from the story. It is never explained; I sort of hope it will be in the sequel, L O S T, which I am reading next. There were also some grammatical issues here and there, more toward the end of the book than the beginning, but nothing that would have merited the loss of a star if it weren’t for the plot hole. Overall, those who enjoy police procedurals or suspense/thrillers, and who aren’t bothered by the inclusion of supernatural elements, should enjoy this book. Definitely check it out.

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