Monday 9 May 2016

REVIEW: Ken Preston - Joe Coffin: Season One

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Ken Preston
Publication Date: 31st Oct 2014
Pages: 470


A copy of Joe Coffin: Season One, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Ken Preston, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.

So, I have heard a lot about this book and about Mr Preston as well. We have been “friends” on Facebook for a while and interact a little but I have never read anything by him. I felt like I was missing out because I see a lot of people talking about this Joe Coffin fella, so felt it was about time I checked him out.

I had Season One on my Kindle but was delighted to recently take delivery of Season One and Season Two from Mr Preston directly.

As ever, everyone knows this does not garner any favours from me in the reviewing game, even if it was stuffed with cash! Which it wasn’t by the way.

Very disappointing.

This is what I thought.

Joe Coffin is part of the Slaughterhouse Mob, a notorious gang, some would say the biggest, most successful, in Birmingham. He has just been released from prison. While he was in there, someone killed his wife and young son. Joe has only one thing on his mind. Revenge.

What Joe doesn’t realise is that the killers aren’t your average gangland killers. They weren’t in it for revenge or indeed any easy to fathom reason.

In fact, they aren’t your average anything. Joe has a battle on his hands that he could never have foreseen. It’s going to get bloody.

So, we have a hell of a lot of characters in this. The main ones are not what you might think. Joe Coffin is a gangster. He is a killer. You know what though? I defy any of you reading this book to dislike him. Not the brightest spark, he has qualities that a lot of decent people could learn from. Massive in stature and attitude, he is a perfect leading man in this. Tom is his main adversary in this tale. He is cut from the same cloth but has none of the endearing qualities that Joe has. I just wanted to take a cheese grater to his face. Craggs is the old mob boss. Again, he is a very likeable character. Giving his history, this is strange but you just can’t help it. Emma is a reporter. She is the normal run of the mill despicable reporter out for the killer story but her moods and intentions change throughout the story. She has a conscience that she is wrestling with a lot.
On the nasty side of the fence you have Able. Not going to tell you much about him other than to say you will dislike him immediately. He needs a bigger cheese grater.

There are a host of others involved in this including Steffani, Joe’s wife, beautiful in life and it seems also in death. Laura is Tom’s wife. She is also Joe’s ex-wife. She is totally different to most of the people in this story. She shouldn’t be wrapped up with the mob. She is too decent. There are others involved that I am not going to tell you about because that would lead to spoilers and I don’t do spoilers.

The plot? A man from the mob has been wronged. He is out for revenge. Sounds pretty simple and in essence it is. But – and this is a huge but – the enemy aren’t your standard mobsters. They have some unique qualities that set them aside from everyone else.

Basically Joe wants to get the killers of his family. It’s not that easy though because of double crossing friends and an enemy that is as elusive as it is frightening. Add to that mix the fact that Joe is the most easily recognised person in the world, and the police are looking for him, he doesn’t have an easy time of it.

In terms of a book? This is just superb. It’s written in the style of being a Teevee series. Each chapter has its own title that make them unique and quirky. Some of them will make you laugh out loud at what you think might be in them before you even read them. Each chapter is like an episode of the series. Each one ends with its own little cliff hanger and forces you into turning the page immediately to see what’s on the other side. This is very clever writing.

Even though it is categorised as horror it is a mixture of genres that would make it an enjoyable read for many a person regardless of their favourite genre. It has horror, it has blood and guts, it has dark humour in abundance but the overriding element in it that made the book for me is the whole noir thing. Joe Coffin could have been transported directly from the old smoky backroom bars of the old black and white films of years ago. As a main character he is superb. He is in the thick of everything and you cannot help but root for him and cringe when things go wrong for him. He is the typical bad guy that everyone loves and would go out of their way to help him if he needed it.

Ken Preston writes in a style that is not just easy to read. It grips you and will not let you go until you have read a couple more chapters than you were intending to. I missed out on a few things because I couldn’t put this down at times. It’s the old cliché but the words just flow across the page and the pacing, for me, was absolutely perfect. It does get bloody at times and pretty gruesome but then it is a horror book. One I think you should go out of your way to pick up.

To summarise: a story about a likeable rogue out to avenge his family. Combining horror and noir and humour in a masterfully written story, if you like any of these genres, you will love this book. I’m already looking forward to Season Two!

General rating:

★★★★★ superbly written.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ perfect.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Joe Coffin: Season One or any other books from Ken. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Get ready. Joe Coffin is on his way. And he's mad as hell.

Joe Coffin is fresh out of jail, but going straight is the last thing on his mind. The sickos who murdered his wife and child are still out there, and he’s going to get revenge.

The problem is, Joe Coffin is in much deeper than he realizes, and his wife might not be as dead as he believes.

Violent, gory, profane and explicit, Joe Coffin is for mature readers only.

Written in serial form, there are four episodes in Season One, each available individually or as a complete set at a significant price saving.

Growing up, Ken Preston never wanted a proper job, and now he sits in his converted cellar, telling lies for a living, whilst being distracted by his two cats, Lily and Luther.

He is the author of a wide range of genre novels, from zombie/cowboy mash-up Population:DEAD! to his YA pirate adventure, The Devil and Edward Teach, and contemporary horror serial, Joe Coffin.

He also writes a series of romantic thrillers, but don't tell anyone.

Pop over to his website to check out more books and for news on the latest releases, or just to say "Hi!", and find out how you could be getting free short stories delivered to your inbox every month.

And for about Ken, visit his site, or find him on social media:

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