This book was sent to me by the author and when I opened the package I nearly fell of my chair in fright. The front cover is certainly something that does not depict the sort of book this is. I read the back of the book and to be perfectly frank, wondered why the synopsis gave away so much of the story. Not letting that put me off, I settled down and made a start.
The first thing that struck me is the sheer evil of these characters. Barry has absolutely no problem translating this evil from pen to paper. Elizabeth Waverly is truly a despicable character. The first few chapters give us the evidence of their cruelty whilst at the care home although it doesn't take long before we see their capture and prison term handed down.
Pretty soon the story changes pace and we move onto their next plan to swindle an inheritance from Victor Carragher. The story is set in the UK and then swiftly moves to the island of Majorca. The body count is particularly high and its no holds barred for the descriptive deaths of some of the characters. I found that as the story moved along we were give short glimpses into Elizabeth Waverly's upbringing and this only added to the tension of the story.
There are lots of characters involved in this plot, maybe at times one too many but Barry has managed to juggle this well, leaving the reader wondering where all these intricate plot threads will lead. Initially this was described to me as a horror, but to be honest it was more of a thriller with and element of horror to it. I am certainly not a horror reader, but thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Towards the end of the book, the horror element does pick up, but to be honest it was done in a good way and I could see where the story was going. I thought that the story was well done and it was overall a really enjoyable read. That said, I think the synopsis and front cover made it not quite a perfect debut. Overall, who can criticise a man who has published his own book, and is donating all the profits to Cancer Research? I would say that next time round Barry should definitely choose a different front cover as I am pretty sure the current one would put people off. Secondly, I would say that the synopsis should give readers the taster, but not the whole meal.
I personally, will look forward to seeing where his next books take him as he certainly has a talent for writing. I think that this book was a brilliant debut and I look forward to the next one!