Hank Mondale, a rough-around-the-edges P.I. with a small drinking problem and a large gambling problem, needs a break. With his landlord threatening eviction and his bookie threatening worse, things look bleak. Until real estate mogul Thomas Blake calls with an incredible story: a monster is trying to kill his daughter. Hank figures she’s probably some whacked-out spoiled brat, but desperate, Hank takes the case to track down the supposed monster. It seems that people around Mackenzie Blake are disappearing. It’s obviously no coincidence. Was Hank hired to unwittingly aid a wealthy murderess? Or is there really someone…or some thing, trying to kill Mackenzie Blake?

A symphony plays that only It can hear. But there will be a special performance, just for her.

Symphony of Blood hits like a sledgehammer. Fast and furious. I loved this book.
-JA Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour

A frightening fresh voice with an intensity that will forever alter the color and texture of your dreams.
-Joseph B. Mauceri,

Symphony of Blood may sound like your typical urban fantasy novel, hard boiled PI getting caught up in supernatural shenanigans, however this book is a more than a cut above the majority of these types of books.  It has many plot devices, settings and characters  that will  familiar to those who read these sort of novels, but Adam Pepper has branded this novel with his own style, so much so that it is fresh and welcome addition to this huge genre.

Some of you might know Adam, from his bizzaro novel, I haven’t read it, as I have never really got that genre.  But please don’t let that put you off, this is the sort of well written, faced paced page turner that should appeal to both fans of horror and crime fiction, as well as a much wider audience.

I would describe this as a hard boiled Noir thriller with a twist of the supernatural, the closest comparison I can think off is Paul D Brazill’s Drunk On The Moon, and you all know how much of a fan I am of that series.  Pepper has populated this novel with a great cast of characters from the lead Hank Mondale, a drunk ex cop now resigned to being a PI.  Yes I know we have all seen this character before, but the character is fleshed out with some nice characterisation, and dialogue, that he becomes a character in his own right, rather than just another drunk PI.  To Hank’s put upon smart mouth secretary, who even given the short amount of time she actually appears on the page, has become a favourite of mine.

There are a lot of strengths to this book, one of the main ones is, the book has a strong feeling of place, many of the these sort of books, feel as though they can be set anywhere.  Pepper has grounded this book in  a real city that lives and breaths of the page.  You begin to picture the sounds and smells of new York in your mind as you frantically turn the pages of the novel.  Secondly, the creature that Hank goes up against is a breath of fresh air.  Hank has created a unique and chilling monster, it is refreshing to see an author take the time to create a new monster, rather than go the route of chucking in a zombie or a vampire.  The next time a homeless person asks you for change you’ll look hard into their eyes looking for any tinge of red.  I really enjoyed that the creature was not just some animal on the hunt, by giving the creature sentience, it added an extra dimension to the story.  It learns and questions human behaviour,  it like music and hates dogs.  And even though the creature is disgusting, especially the way in which it devours it’s prey, you cannot help but feel some sympathy for it.

I really enjoyed this story, Adam Pepper has an easy going style of writing , that keeps you hooked from the word go. There is also a nice streak of humour through it Hank can be a bit of a bumbler, never quite making making the right decision, would go on a betting spree with a loan sharks money, no but he does.

Hopefully this is the book that will see Adam reach a wider audience.  if you like your horror fast paced, with the emphasis on a fast paced story and good story telling rather than over the top gore, then this is the book for you




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