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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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Amazon Book Reviews

From KitKat

5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book!!

November 4, 2018

Format: Paperback

I really enjoyed reading this book. The character development was great. There were so many twists that I found it hard to put it down. I can’t wait for the 2nd book to come out. The author did a terrific job.

Erin G.

 5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller!

November 3, 2018 

Format: Paperback

This is by far one of the most thrillers I have read in a while. It is full of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. A must read

Tina Rubin

5.0 out of 5 starsIt's a "PHENOMENAL READ!!!"

November 7, 2018

Format: Paperback

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!!!


5.0 out of 5 starsDefinitely a page turner

November 2, 2018

Format: Paperback

This book is full of shocking twists, turns & flips that will blow your mind, and have you turning the page begging for more. I highly recommend!