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The Damaged by Simon Law
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The Damaged

by Simon Law

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The Damaged is a dark and twisted tale centered around the two characters of Matthew and Tammy, who despite their inner conflicts manage to portray a semblance of normality to the world around them. But things are far from normal. Behind the scenes the two characters struggle to come to terms with previous events in their lives that have made every day a constant battle to appear normal and survive. The disturbing ways that the characters cope in secret and the way that things escalate once the two characters come together really makes for a gruesome and bloody story.

The Damaged stood out character wise for me. Too many books have nasty or mean characters who do horrendous things without rhyme or reason but that is not the case here. The characters are laid bare and I could easily understand why they did what they did. They are very well fleshed out and you get to know everything about them, their hopes and dreams, their fears and their innermost thoughts. The author does a wonderful job of making them both vulnerable and likable despite the gruesome events that occur, especially with Matthew's character. I couldn't help but like Matthew and feel sorry for him despite the things he found himself doing.

The Damaged is written well. The pacing is consistent, nothing is rushed or skipped and no questions are left unanswered. It is one of the the most complete stories that I have read in a while. I will admit to one episode of confusion while reading but that was cleared up in the conclusion of the book and there was one inconsistency that I came across although it's one that is easily overlooked and so small that it's nothing really.

The Damaged is an enjoyable story that at it's heart is a tale of love, betrayal and loss but in the most twisted and gruesome fashion.

Definitely one I would recommend for fans of horror and psychological thrillers. ( )
  Scarlet-Aingeal | Dec 9, 2016 |
Matthew Mason's troubles started with the Great Storm of 1987, which hit the UK in October of that year. 25 years later, the listener meets up with Matthew again as his home carer, Tammy, is sent to see him twice daily to assist with his medication. Both, Tammy and Matthew, are deeply damaged souls albeit for completely different reasons. Initially thinking, this may be a story of loss and grief and two broken people finding each other, I kind of settled in for an emotional psychological suspense story, but author Simon Law took this to places I never expected. It veered right off into seriously dark, twisted and very disturbing territory. I loved it!
The audio version is just over 12 hours. I finished it in 2 days. I literally listened whenever I had a chance to do so.
The writing is fluid and very vivid, and there were passages where I really considered pausing the audio, which so far has only ever happened while listening to the Smoky Barrett books by Cody McFadyen. However, I think the most unnerving part of this was the fact how utterly realistic the characters were. It was truly scary.
Trigger warning: this contains scenes of self-harm.
If you're like me and you struggle with anything involving harm to animals, some of this will be uncomfortable. Parts of this are extremely graphic and gory.

If you enjoy horror and extremely intense explorations into very fragile minds, listen to this! It was brilliant. If you're squeamish, you may find this difficult.

As far as the narration is concerned, I enjoyed it for the most part. The narrator has a very clear, pleasant voice, great pacing and was good at getting the emotions across and voicing the male characters. As with many male narrators, his female voices took some time to get used to, though.

I was gifted a copy of the audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review. My sincere thanks to Simon Law. Can't wait to see what comes next! ( )
  Pet12 | Jun 7, 2016 |
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book. A little boy named Matthew witnessed the brutal killing of his parents during a vicious storm in Britain by a homeless man who was desperate to find shelter. Due to the trauma, Matthew spent many years in a mental institute. He was released and was under the care of Tammy Atkins – a care giver who had a history of alcohol abuse and self-harm and is depressed as she has lost custody of her little girl. Although Matthew is home, he is plagued with demons from his past. He wants to find his parents’ killers and is obsessed with finding the homeless man. He also develops a friendship and obsession with Tammy.
This book is very dark and has a tale of horror throughout the book. Mr. Law does have a knack for keeping the story line moving and for pulling you into it. It is an easy read, you can almost experience the moments as the author describes the storms, Matthew’s and Tammy’s inner feelings. Mr. Law is very descriptive in outlining Matthew’s character and you feel that you can get past the horror of this book and can find a story of love, abuse, betrayal and heartache. It is an intense read and you it has a surprising element at the end as well. The author has done a great job in researching mental illness and has incorporated the symptoms and effects in this story beautifully.
I am keeping my eye open for other books that Mr. Simon Law has written. ( )
  NTuttens | May 2, 2016 |
Every time I pick up a book, a horror or thriller in particular, I'm looking to walk away from that book a changed person. I'm expecting to be so enthralled, I get depressed upon reaching the final page. I don't have to love the characters, but I need to believe in them. This book, this book left me in a state of shock. I couldn't believe what I'd read and that was cool.

The Damaged, by Simon Law, is about Matthew. Recently released from a mental institution after witnessing the murder of his parents and a child. He is doing his best to adjust to home life and work things out, along with his carer, Tammy. But this relationship takes a turn for something monstrous as Matt decides to make a move into vigilantism... and straight up terror.

This book is a monster. It's so, so... dark! I can honestly say, this Dahmeresque-like tale was too real for me. I had to stop reading for a while because it was too much, like things that could really happen! Get this,... it terrified me- he was NUTS!.
From violent imaginings to actually eating an Aggy Polish steak, this story really gets INSIDE you. I found myself with a pinched face from around the last quarter of the book to the freaking end! The Damaged is not for the faint of heart and if you're not in to horror- leave this book alone! BUT, if you like to be grossed out, confused and horrified, try it on for size. You won't walk away from this book the same.

Lastly, the book has two covers. One has the awesome raven, as you see with my photo. There's another with a red, leather, Queen Anne-looking, Chesterfield chair. There covers are different and they represent the same thing, but to me, this one does it justice. The chair's cool and all, but it simply doesn't strike home as the raven does. Okay- I'm done, I'm on to the next tale!
For this review and more: http://tinyurl.com/z9w8o9p
**eBook provided free, by author and The Reading Room, for an honest review. ( )
  AReneeHunt | Apr 25, 2016 |
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