Reading Challenge Review: Monsters by Gareth S. Young

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**Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.**

Genre: Mystery/Detective thriller

Synopsis: Doyle Godwin works nights as a Private Investigator in the small town of Gabriel’s Horn. He has learned how to hide his twisted, giant frame in the dark, avoiding the cruel eyes and taunts of the locals as he ekes out a living tracking down adulterers and other night-dwellers, living vicariously through the images he captures on camera.

Lurking in the shadows, he is content with his world until, one day, the only woman he ever loved walks into his office and hires him to find her missing daughter. Emmy Watson is losing hope. After three long weeks, her daughter Scarlett remains missing and the FBI have slowly removed themselves from the search, leaving an impotent Sheriff’s department no closer to solving the kidnapping. Her heart broken and her nerves frayed to their ends she hires Doyle, Sheriff Reid’s main suspect, forcing the town’s Boogieman out into the daylight.

Sheriff Emerson Watts has discovered a body beneath Mt Rainier’s watchful gaze. An ex-FBI agent with a once bright future, he sifts through the detritus of the murder scene and realizes there might be a connection between his case and the missing girl in Gabriel’s Horn. Trying to meet with Sheriff Reid, he instead bumps into the deformed detective and triggers an avalanche which threatens to swallow them all up. MONSTERS is a dark, complex, character driven psychological thriller.

My Star Rating:



(Yup! That’s 5 stars)

My Review:

I seldom stray from my beloved genres but am branching out. ‘Monsters’ gives me a reason to seek others like it while knowing I’ve never read something that made me fall in love with the main character so quickly. Doyle Godwin is not your average Private Investigator. You won’t find a jilted ex-wife,  a military past, a boss threatening to can him if he screws up one more time, or the typical fractured man in a yummy package waiting for the right damsel in distress to add glitter to his outlook on life. No. Doyle works on his own terms, utilizing the shadows, while refusing to allow his physical limitations to prevent him from solving cases. His brain and tenacity for the truth his brand of “sexy” that keeps your heart pattering for all the right reasons.

When Doyle’s high school love – Emmy Watson – comes to him in desperation in a last ditch effort to find her missing child, Gareth S. Young takes his readers through Doyle’s struggles as his disfigurements paints him the town “monster”, everyone focusing on his jarring exterior instead of his prowess at seeking the truth. Gareth S. Young ensures to keep his readers guessing at who the real monsters are while exploring our preconceived notions of what a “monster” is during his search for what happened to Emmy’s little girl.

I kept an open mind the whole way through, but couldn’t pinpoint the evil doer until events culminated in a climax that had me frantic to flip the page. While I grit my teeth at the audacity of some characters ignorance, shuddered at the extent some traveled to satisfy their selfish needs, and inwardly cheered for small triumphs peppered along the way, the only criticism I would give Monsters is there were a couple flashbacks that tripped me up. These did not lower my 5-star rating as they injected a plethora of information and emotion into the characters they involved and amplified my zeal to know more. My frustration stemmed from my need for instant gratification. I wanted answers. Those emotions don’t deserve to be penalized. As readers we crave the opportunity to be swept away and Gareth S. Young did not disappoint.

I can’t recommend ‘Monsters’ enough. While some parts make it unsuitable for youngsters as the use of sexual content and gore play their parts, the story has something for everyone. Which sounds trite, but is true. Emotionally rich characters, loyal friendships, action, suspense, the Private Detective elements, appropriate sexual content and gore, even hints of revenge with psychological elements that have you questioning your own views while guessing at the true monsters.

Read it now, people. Thank me later.

Where to Buy: – Kindle Edition (worth every penny)

Author Bio and Contacts:


Gareth S. Young was born and raised in Scotland. He packed up his kilt and moved to the United States and now does much the same as he did in Scotland, only people think his accent is way cooler.

In 2010, he self-published his first full length story, a mystery/suspense novel called Monsters.

In April 2013, his short story “The Orange-headed Serpent” was published in the Orange Karen Anthology.

Currently, he is hard at work editing a Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel based in the fictional Dynamo City. “The Wolves of Dynamo” is book one in an ongoing series.

Also coming soon, the mystery/suspense story “Persephone”, a follow up to Monsters, which he intends on querying to agents.

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