Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Final Cut by Jasper Bark [5 stars]


From the Description
"Some stories capture the imagination, others will be the death of you."

The Final Cut is a genre busting mash up of crime, horror and urban fantasy. An imaginative and thought provoking tale that explores our need to watch and make horror fiction, examining not just the medium, but the purpose of storytelling itself. Taking in everything from ancient myth, to modern atrocity, this novel will entrance, mystify and appall you in equal measures, haunting you long after you’ve reached the very last line.

In an East London lock up, two film makers, Jimmy and Sam, are duct taped to chairs and forced to watch a snuff film by Ashkan, a loan shark to whom they owe a lot of money. If they don’t pay up, they’ll be starring in the next one. Before the film reaches its end, Ashkan and all his men are slaughtered by unknown assailants. Only Jimmy and Sam survive the massacre, leaving them with the sole copy of the snuff film.

The film makers decide to build their next movie around the brutal film. While auditioning actors, they stumble upon Melissa, an enigmatic actress who seems perfect for the leading role, not least because she’s the spitting image of the snuff film’s main victim. Neither the film, nor Melissa, are entirely what they seem however. Jimmy and Sam find themselves pulled into a paranormal mystery that leads them through the shadowy streets of the city beneath the city and sees them re-enacting an ancient Mesopotamian myth cycle. As they play out the roles of long forgotten gods and goddesses, they’re drawn into the subtle web of a deadly heresy that stretches from the beginnings of civilization to the end of the world as we know it

Publication Date: May 27, 2016

Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing

Publication Length: 280 pages

I received a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

The Final Cut is a very dark and twisted story. It is both uncomfortable and intriguing, showing you things you don't want to know about but leaving you unable to stop turning the pages until you reach the end. The story moves along at a quick pace filled with a black humor that serves to accentuate horrors found here. The characters aren't always nice but that makes them more human, more real. Jimmy's search for answers and Sam's obsession with the film lead you on a surreal path to find out the truth behind the myth. This book is a disturbingly fascinating and highly recommended 5 star read.

Buy the Book

About the Author

I'm a novelist, children's author and script writer specializing in comics and graphic novels.

I've written four novels: A Fistful of Strontium (Black Flame 2005 with Steve Lyons), Sniper Elite: Spear of Destiny (Abaddon 2006), Dawn Over Doomsday (Abaddon 2008) and Way of the Barefoot Zombie (Abaddon 2009).

My all-ages book Inventions, Leonardo Da Vinci has been translated into five different languages and my Battle Cries series of graphic novels are used in schools throughout the UK to improve literacy for 12 to 16 year old readers. I've written comics for just about every publisher in the British comics industry, from 2000AD to The Beano, and an increasing number of American and international publishers.

Prior to this I worked as a film journalist and cable TV presenter by day and a stand up poet and playwright by night. In 1993 I released an anthology of poetry and a spoken word album both called Bark Bites. In 1999 I was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Festival.
You can find Jasper lurking about at his website, or on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads

Praise for Jasper Bark

"With a clever and inventive plot The Final Cut proves this is one Bark with definite bite!" Dave Jeffery, Screenwriter & Producer, VLM Productions

"A dark, twisted journey into the indie horror film underworld... and the true underworld that dwells beneath. Every story needs an ending!" Jack Thomas Smith, Writer & Director of DISORDER and INFLICTION

"This story lures you in and traps you there, and even after you've turned the final page you can't quite let it go." Lex H Jones, author of Nick and Abe

"I’d say it oscillates constantly between ‘bloody good’ and ‘utterly outstanding’, with the odd stop off at ‘jaw dropping’. There is an awful lot going on with this book, but the narrative flows well, propelled by believable characters and readable prose. The apparently disparate elements listed above are woven together with skill and care, creating a story with far more scope and heft than the already-entertaining opening premise might suggest. The journey from gritty crime realism to Barkeresque fantasyscapes is seamless, and by the end I was left in admiration at the sheer breadth and depth of this tale." Kit Power, Ginger Nuts of Horror