The Returned

The Returned by Jason Mott Review

Have you ever lost a loved one? Whether it was a car accident, a long drawn out illness, or just the years slipped away and so did they, there is always a feeling of loss, of sadness, of wishing for just one more moment so you could say a final I love you.

In 1966 Harold and Lucille’s only child, their son Jacob, slipped away from his birthday party and drowned in the river not far from their home. Harold and all the people at the birthday party spread out to search, which went on for hours. Finally, with dread in his heart, Harold is searching by the river, calling his son’s name, when he spots him floating, dead. Cradled in his arms, Harold carries his cold, dead son home to his wife.

After the heartbreak of losing their only child, and with no hope to have another, Harold and Lucille slowly over the years learn to cope with their loss. Harold turns from religion, and seeks solace in hard work. Lucille turns to god and her large extended family to help her through.

The years pass, as years will, and now Harold and Lucille are many decades older, still together and still feeling the loss of their beloved son Jacob. A knock at the door of their old farmhouse is about to change everything that Harold and Lucille know, feel and think because on the other side of that door is their 8 year old son Jacob, returned.

This is not an isolated event, it is happening world wide. People of all ages, whether they were murdered like the Wilson family, drowned like Jacob or died peacefully, are all coming back. They have been labeled the Returned and no one can figure out what is going on. Is it a miracle from god? Is it a trick of the devil? Are they really even alive? Or for that matter are they even real?

As more and more of the Returned show up world wide, rumors and anxiety start to grow quickly. How many Returned are going to show up and what is their purpose? And now some of the Returned are disappearing just as abruptly as they arrived…

Great characters get woven into this wonderfully worded story. I could not put this book down! I was left guessing right up to the end as to the intent of the Returned and what was going to happen to them.

Very suspenseful, humorous in spots, and it really really made me think.

This is a powerful debut novel from Jason Mott and I will definitely be looking for more of his work. I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good strong story with solid, realistic characters and a mixture of suspense, humor and thought provoking questions.

I received my copy through GoodReads and my review was unsolicited.


A Thousand Bayonets Review

February 21, 2013

A Thousand Bayonets

A Thousand Bayonets

by Joel Mark Harris (

A Thousand Bayonets Review (original review posted on June 27, 2012)

A Thousand Bayonets by Joel Mark Harris

John Webster is a handsome, broad shouldered experienced reporter, once stationed in Baghdad where he witnessed a bombing that killed and injured several people. While following the story he was shot in the leg.  He is now a reporter for the Vancouver Daily Globe.

Upon receiving a lead from his source, Webster is hopeful of learning more about the ongoing war between factions in Vancouver. Webster witnesses the shooting of 5 members of the Heart gang including Kenneth Dzyinski, the big boss; Anthony Hewson, Ken’s right hand man; and 3 lower level members. They were gunned down by 2 unknown masked gunmen. John has recorded the meeting with a small voice recorder and after talking to the police, he realizes he is the only witness.

Detective Wiltore and Detective Tamara Lewis are partners with the Vancouver Police and are investigating the shooting deaths of the 5 Heart gang members. With no solid leads or forensic evidence to help except the .45 ACP cartridges that the gunmen used, they are looking for Webster to go over what he saw again. Webster is no where to be found, and his editor Charlie isn’t being very helpful.

Webster has good instincts, honed by his time in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries. He’s pretty sure he’s being followed and when Charlie tells him he’s received a subpena to surrender his records to the police, Webster goes into hiding. He has to figure out who was behind the shooting before those people get him first.

After contacting a woman whom he met at Ken Dyzyinski’s funeral, John has to try and make a quick getaway. Waking in the hospital, he knows its time to get to the bottom of this mess, before he losses his life. Webster doesn’t know who he can trust, but he’s got good instincts and its his life on the line.

A great read, it will keep you turning the pages. The author describes the city of Vancouver with all of its diversity beautifully. The characters are very believable, with John Webster being a man of integrity, haunted by past events.

I won my copy on Goodreads and my review was unsolicited.


%d bloggers like this: