Monday 11 April 2016

REVIEW: John C Foster - Mister White: The Short Story

Genre: Horror / Dark Fiction
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Publication Date: 12th Jan 2016
Pages: 41


John C. Foster. Never read anything by him. There has been a hell of a lot of talk about this Mister White fella on social media for a while now. I thought I would pick up the short story ahead of the full novel, just to see what all the fuss is about.

Abel is in Austria. He is an agent for an American Intelligence organisation. He has just had a phone call that he couldn’t understand because the line was so bad, but also because of the mention of the name, Mister White.

Who is Mister White? Why does everyone seem to be scared to mention his name? Abel is about to find out. Then he will realise he should have paid attention to the warnings.

Do not speak his name.

This is just superb. A short story that is quite obviously being used as a teaser. A story to grab your attention and draw you into the mystery of Mister White. A book designed to get you hooked and make you want to get the full novel when it is released. No shame in that. If I had the writing talent of John Foster, I would do exactly the same thing.

I have read a few teasers in my time.

I have never read one as effective as this though.

This is obviously going to be a thriller. A mysterious one at that, full of international espionage and spies and James Bond type scenarios. On top of that though is a dark element to the story. So dark in fact that the amount of darkness in this short story alone is ten times that of the level of darkness I have read in some dark stories for years. Think James Bond on speed with the evil level turned up to eleven. That's dark!

This is superb writing. You have an idea of what is going to happen. Well, you know there are spies involved, and foreign agents, and people running for their lives, and the evil Mister White that everyone is so scared of. Apart from that, you don’t get much more of a clue as to what is actually happening and where the story is going to go.

Fear. That is the word that I think most describes my mood while reading this. You can feel it. Smell it. Almost taste it. When you see the character’s jump and look behind them to see who is there, you do it yourself. When you see them run, you feel like getting up and running yourself. You know when they are caught, they have no chance.

One scene in this short had me cringing so much I was nearly sick.

I won’t give details, apart from the fact that a person is being tortured. It is the worst kind of torture though. It’s self-inflicted on the instructions of others. This scene is so brutal and sickening, in the most simplistic of ways, and how it is described, it is one of the best I have read. Ever.

John C Foster has a knack for the dark stuff. There is no doubt about that. I cannot wait to get my hands on the full novel for this and get into the real juicy bits. I feel I have missed the bandwagon big style. I wanna get on it now!

To summarise: superbly written, dark, horrific short that is full of tension and suspense and leaves you with an absolute hunger for more of the same. All of this in a short story. That is some very powerful writing.

General rating:

★★★★★ superb short teaser.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ superbly horrific and tense.

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Book Synopsis:

"Who is Mister White?"

That's the final, ominous warning delivered from the other end of a static-laced phone line to Abel, an agent employed by a mysterious US intelligence organization in Austria. Little does Abel know that hanging up on the mysterious caller begins a series of moves in a dangerous game of chess that sends him first to a fateful meeting in a snow-covered Vienna cemetery and then running for his life.

In the shadowy world of international espionage and governmental black ops when a group of American spies go bad and are pursued by the unrelenting Mister White, Abel finds that his fate may be sealed in this short story from acclaimed author John C. Foster "MISTER WHITE: THE SHORT STORY," the Kindle Single that inspired the upcoming full-length novel of global intrigue, MISTER WHITE: THE NOVEL, coming in April 2016.

John C. Foster was born in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and has been afraid of the dark for as long as he can remember.

A writer of thrillers and dark fiction, Foster lives in New York City with his lady, Linda, and their dog, Coraline. Dead Men is his first novel and his newest, Mr White, has just been released.

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

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