The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence
Review by Dr. Carol Michaels from Absolute Author
Five Star Rating
Whenever I read a novel by an author making their debut, I get nervous for them. Most debuts are greeted to mixed reviews simply because the novelist hasn’t mastered the writing skills to hook a reader. This isn’t the case for first-time novelist Dr. Melissa Caudle. Her novel, The Keystroke Killer: Transcendenceis a masterful piece of literature that other first-time novelists should purchase to learn from as she sets the standard and readers should purchase because it is that well-written and masterful.
Set in New Orleans, LA 2058, Caudle transports her readers into the underbelly of political corruption through the eyes of a grief-stricken private detective after his sister was murdered by a serial killer. Okay, sounds like a plot you’ve read thousands of times. But wait! It’s not as Caudle brilliantly weaves in and out of characters who are all tied together, they just don’t know it. Every character carried their own style, persona and dialogue which is a true strength for this book. Needless to say, it is characater driven. I found it particularly amazing that Caudle not one time used any dialogue tags throughout the entire four hundred plus pages. What that told me is she is a prolific writer who commands her character’s thoughts and actions to engage her readers. Surprisingly with no dialogue tags anywhere, I never not knew who was speaking as Caudle was exceptionally crafty in creating authenticity to her characters. What a relief when I wasn’t bogged down by all the pesky, he said, she said tags; you will be too as the words seemingly engage a reader. Caudle’s words flow in a natural and meaningful pace and progresses from one event to another that makes sense. Her ability to connect everyone and every place is simply masterful in this tale of twisted deception.
Now let’s get down to our protagonist and antagonist. Other than giving any spoiler alerts, they too are authentic. I found my self becoming a cheering squad for Matthew as he searched for answer surrounding his sister’s unusual disappearance. Considering The Keystroke Killer:Transcendence is a science fiction psychological thriller, I had my doubts how Caudle would be able to merge the two. No worries now as I was not overwhelmed by the science fiction aspect based from Stephen Hawking’s theory of multiple dimensions. The way she crafts the storyline it is a natural and remarkable fit. The novel is just enough science fiction for the sci-fi lovers of the world, but not thrown in a reader’s face. By all accounts it is a psychological thriller and boxing it into only being about a cat-and-mouse game between an investigator and a ruthless serial killer is unfair as Caudle as thought outside the box and given readers something fresh they have never read before.
I found myself hating the antagonist and ideally that’s what you want from a novel. How dare a character be so discriminatively horrible and menacing? I mean that in a positive way because the antagonist is someone you will truly love to hate and when I say you have never read one like this, I mean it. He scared the bejeejies out of me.
As for the setting, Caudle got it right. It is obvious she understands the New Orleans culture and dynamics. I’d hope so since that is where she lives. However, it is beyond that. The choice of her words transports you to the Big Easy, in a futuristic kind of way. I feel compelled to say this book isn’t for everyone because it contains explicit graphic scenes, much like you find in The Handmaid’s Tale, Fifty Shades of Grey and Silence of the Lambs, but need I say this book is stronger and more intent. Caudle serves the reading community correctly when she billed her novel not for the faint of heart and included a warning page in her book. With the twist and turns this chiller psychological thriller is a page turner that will have you sitting on the edge of the seat and you might not want to read it alone at night. I did and I found every sound, creek in my house and even the wind blowing outside my window alarmed me as I thought, is there a serial killer out there? I can’t wait for The Keystroke Killer: Reborn which is part two of this saga. She can’t publish it fast enough for me and that’s the only thing bad I have to say about this novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Novel on Reincarnation
February 2, 2019 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know where to start praising this novel. It is by far one of the most captivating books you'll ever read. The story grabs you from the first word and doesn't relent until the final word. Caudle's descriptions are elegant and refined and can really transport a reader to another era, time and place on in a mental time travel. The characters are believable as is the dialogue. I didn't want to put it down as it kept my interest the entire time. Then, bam! It ends unlike any ending I've ever read which made me re-read the novel again. The second time through, I still held my breath. I can tell why this novel launched as the #1 New Release on Amazon.
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Patricia Ann Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent drama.
March 17, 2019Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Thrilling the whole way through. Very well written, exquisite detail. I would liked to have it explained what past life connection Jackie had with her husband David and the reason for her intense hatred of him after her accident.
Very unexpected ending.
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I only give honest reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not anticipate the ending!!
January 26, 2019Format: Kindle Edition
I had the pleasure of reading this book. Without giving away the story, it was hard to receive at first because of my own spiritual beliefs. You have to be open enough to read the story without taking the spiritual aspects of it personally. This book will take you through a variety of emotions. I felt anger, annoyance, happiness, and extreme sadness. The ending to this book was shocking and something I could never have imagined. It made me so sad that I quickly texted my ex-husband and told him I love him. He was surprised to say the least LOL.
There was one part of this book that was so beautifully written that it made me feel like I was in the place with the character in this book. If the author writes a second part to this book, it will be a wonderful conclusion to this story. The book just leaves you asking, well what happened next?
The most special part of this book is the cover. The author used a picture of her mother as the cover photo and she is beautiful. Though the story is not about her mother, the way the author used it blends perfectly with the journeys the main character takes. You will not be sorry with this one!
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A riveting thriller.
This story grabbed me on the opening page and refused to let go. I was instantly caught up in Jackie’s story and read the book in one sitting.
Never Stop Running is based on true hypnotic regression sessions, but the author does an incredible job of creating the fictional story. Reincarnation is a topic that divides many people. If you are not a believer, you will still find this story fascinating for the entertainment factor. It is a psychological thriller in every sense of the genre. Without giving away too much information, the ending was the most stunning I’ve read in awhile. I immediately wanted to read the entire book again with my new found knowledge.
The premise of amnesia and how it changes interactions within the family is an important aspect of Never Stop Running. The tragic results of living long term with an amnesiac are heart-wrenching.
I don’t believe you will be disappointed with Never Stop Running by Melissa Caudle.
Feb 13, 2019 Laurie F rated it it was amazing
This book is spell-binding from the first word until the last. The imagery Caudle describes is breathtaking and transports you to another time and place. This is a mental time travel journey with twists and turns you won't want to put the book down until you are finished. Wow! The most incredible ending and totally unexpected that it grabs you and makes you want to start all over to read again. A must-read and masterfully written.
November 7, 2018
I love psychological thrillers but this definitely tops anything that I've ever read or watched! I wanted to divide my reading time according to my schedule but that didn't work. Lol. I didn't want to put it down so, I finished it way sooner than I planned. There's several characters and all with a backstory. And just when I thought I knew what would happen next, more unimaginable twist and turns! A good description of this book would be, Hannibal Lecter meets Fifty Shades Of Grey with more intrigue!!! The only problem is, it's like a soap opera leaving you dying to know what happens next!... SERIOUSLY, if you love psychological thrillers, you would absolutely love this without a doubt!!!