I received a copy of this book from the author to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own, are honest, and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
Welcome to my favorite blog tour so far. This time I will be discussing the book, The Patience of a Dead Man. This tour is part one of three so be sure to subscribe to my blog so I can notify you about the next two books (plus, you will get access to my VIP Freebies Vault)! I am so excited to talk about this book so I will have to try and control myself from going on and on. If you read nothing else from what I have to say below, read this: The Patience of a Dead Man is the PERFECT book series to start reading for the Halloween season.
- About The Author, Michael Clark
- Excerpt From The Patience of a Dead Man
- On to the Book Review!
- The Creep Factor of The Patience of A Dead Man
- My Favorite Aspects
- I Reacted Out Loud!
- Two stories in One Book
- The Use of Pictures
- The Writing Was Superb
- Anything Bad About The Book?
- Let’s Talk About It!
- The Patience of a Dead Man
- Book 1
- Michael Clark
- April 15, 2019
He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside. Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?
About The Author, Michael Clark
Is it just me or doesn’t his name even sound like he should be an author? To me it does. Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based. The bats really circled the rafters of the barn all day long, and there really was a grove hidden in the forest. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba. The Patience of a Dead Man, Dead Woman Scorned & Anger is an Acid are his first three novels.
Excerpt From The Patience of a Dead Man
I love it when authors give me an excerpt to give to you lovely people. This way you get to read what I already have and it gives me a chance to get you hooked on yet another book. The following excerpt is from chapter one. But this is a tease because it isn’t the excerpt to the full chapter, you get just enough to understand the essence of this book.
CHAPTER ONE: Henry’s Demise
November 29th, 1965
The sun was low in the sky on another perfect New Hampshire day. Henry Smith had just washed and brushed his favorite horse just inside the old red barn. The workday was over until something caught his eye…something out beyond the pond, way out in the field. He walked toward the front of the house and stood there for a few seconds, scanning the tree line where he thought he might have seen her.
It had looked to Henry like the woman they would see from time to time at the corner of the property, cutting across the field into the woods. The closest neighbors were more than a mile away. Henry knew them, and this woman did not look familiar.
The truth was there was no explanation why the woman made frequent appearances way out here for the past few years. All of the neighbors had their own meadows full of wild grapes and blueberries, not to mention pumpkins. Why come here? Then he got to thinking: It was time to select the annual Christmas tree. Why not kill two birds with one stone? He went back to the barn, grabbed the hatchet and set off down the front lawn past the stone wall and headed toward the far left corner of the field. One hundred yards later, he turned left into the forest.
He had known about the overgrown grove since they bought the place, but he was still enamored by it. If this grove had been tended to over the years, I’d have my tree already. I’d just chop it down, and after a relatively short drag back to the house, I’d be done.
The grove started about thirty yards into the wild forest, fully on Smith property. The Christmas trees gone wild had become towering spruce and of course, too far gone for holiday use. They were all at least forty feet tall, more or less, and grew in perfect symmetrical rows. In and around the grove in odd spots however, were random wild spruce that could pass for Christmas trees if you looked hard enough.
Henry made his way through the first few yards of the wild forest, and as always, all at once, the grove opened up in front of his eyes. He was fond of this place. It was hidden, and then it was in your face. And if you were here, it was yours and yours alone for the moment, like being lost in the hallways of an empty mansion. He angled his path to cut through the many rows, moving diagonally and to the right, deeper into the woods. Where’d she go?
He passed more rows than planned, and before he knew it, he could see the man-made symmetry coming to an end at the border of the congested wild forest. More and more rogue trees had claimed odd spots here– a near-even mixture of man and nature. The forest floor here wasn’t just spruce needles like the rest of the grove; leaves from all sorts of trees had drifted in over the years, leaving piles of natural mulch.
The briars were thick, and behind them, undisturbed forest. Nestled inside the briars and brush were two high mounds of leaves that had collected for decades. They seemed artificially high as if they covered something. At first, Henry thought it might be a section of stone wall, but the stone wall in this forest also happened to be the property line, and he was sure he was still a ways from that.
As he closed in, he realized the two piles were each nearly waist-high. A section of gray stone peered out from under twisting vines that had caught years of falling leaves, revealing something several shades lighter than anything naturally occurring.
Gravestones, he recognized. Thirty-one years living here and I didn’t know… He looked down at his hatchet, wishing it was a pair of pruning shears. The briars proved well prepared to protect their long-held secret, but Henry’s curiosity was powerful. He forged ahead, hacking and flattening the bases of the sharp plants so that getting back out wouldn’t be the same battle it was going in.
As soon as he broke through the last of the thorns, he put down the hatchet, dropped to his knees and began to clear the dead leaves and ivy. The stones were crooked from years of heaving frosts but remained steady as he worked. There was a large one on the left and a smaller one on the right.
There was so much moss they were illegible. Concentrating on the left one, Henry scraped gently at the space he estimated the epitaph would be. After three or four moments of gentle effort, he had cleared the top two engraved lines. The first, in smaller letters, read: “Here lies.” The second line, where the person’s name should appear, was taller than the first–but he couldn’t quite make out the inscription.
Then, a twig snapped. Henry looked around, attempting to focus in the dark; it must be her; time to meet the stranger. He looked back, down the near-perfect aisle of spruce. It was all shadows and night had finally fallen. He squinted and took off his glasses, trying to catch a better glance.
She stood there in the dark–the mystery woman in the long dress. All he could make out was her silhouette; her pale white hands were holding what might be a bouquet, and her hair was pinned up, worn away from her neck. It was as unkempt as the woods behind her, strands and bunches pushing out in odd directions.
And there was a smell.
There are many unpleasant odors on a farm, but Henry recognized this as the smell of something unmistakably dead. Like the time a mouse died inside the wall of their bedroom. It was decay, and it was coming from her.
On to the Book Review!
I am honestly super excited to be talking to you guys about this book. It is the first of a trilogy. Starting the next book in this series already has me excited. The Patience of a Dead Man is perfect for Halloween but I will warn you that I stopped reading it at night after two nights in a row of me doing so and then being creeped out.
I loved the cover (shown at the top of this post). It goes quite well with the vibe of the book. When I first started reading it I thought the beginning of the first chapter was actually cute. But, by the end of the chapter, I was reminded that is not meant to be a cute story. Regardless, I was sucked into this story immediately and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it despite the creep factor of it all.
The Creep Factor of The Patience of A Dead Man
Okay, I want to tell you a quick little anecdote about me and my man while I was still in the middle of reading this story. I had gotten to about chapter 10 or so and of course it was night time so the heebie-jeebies were in full effect. I was shocked by this because I have never really been creeped out from reading a book before. Movies, sure. But books? Nope.
Anyways, we were going to bed and as we lay there I had only planned on telling him what I had just told you. I have never been creeped out before but this book is creepy. Instead, I entered full rant mode and told him everything that had happened in the book so far. I told him every little detail including my reactions where applicable.
He was quiet and listened the whole time. He isn’t a reader by any means so I knew telling him what happened would be the only way I could discuss the book with him.
I got to the end of my lengthy retelling and ended it with something along the lines of “anyways its really creepy, I know I can’t portray it as well as the book can but I just wanted to tell you how creepy it was”. To which he replied “No, you had me on the edge of my seat, that is creepy”.
WHAT?! I was so excited I could feel it in my heart. He always listens but he never seems as invested in the retelling of the stories I read. This time he was!
That has to count for something if you are considering reading this book. A non-book reader became interested in a book. And I did that! I felt accomplished to say the least.
My Favorite Aspects
So, there are plenty. This is a 5 star rating after all. I want to delve into everything I loved without telling you what happens or slipping up on any spoilers. So, bear with me if I come off as a little vague. You can always ask me to elaborate in the comments.
I Reacted Out Loud!
Have you ever had a book make you react with any emotion out loud? If you have then you know that makes it harder to put the book down, and you probably look back on it as a good or great book.
If you haven’t ever reacted out loud, then I challenge you not to do so when you read The Patience of a Dead Man. I loved that the book is creepy, but not terrifying. I could read it, give myself an hour or so and be right back to normal. It also had a lot more depth to it than just being a creepy book. There was a lot of realism, romance, mystery, and more all intertwined so my reactions weren’t just from the creepiness. Although, that was the majority of it.
During the creepy bits I found I moved around a lot more. I would change positions from where I was sitting or laying. The creepier it got the closer I got to a standing up position which I find humorous now looking back. I also was kicking my feet while laying in my bed and reading on one occassion. And, of course, if you lived with me you would have heard me making plenty of noises and talking to the characters on more than one occassion.
Like I said, I reacted out loud for more than just the creepy bits. During the creepy bits, my reactions were often in the form of movements or different variations of “eek!”. However, for all the other pieces of the book, most of it was spoken reactions. For example, I really liked Holly as a character and I often found myself agreeing with her/supporting her. To which my reactions would be said out loud.
A Look Into My Notes
I write down my reactions the majority of the time. I remember after chapter 18 I realized I didn’t have a pencil with me. So, in order to write my thoughts down, I put the book down and immediately ran to find a pencil as quickly as I could. Here is a sampling of my written down reactions in the book:
- I don’t think so
- Oooh my heart!
- I’m so tense right now
- Haha that actually made me laugh. I wasn’t thinking that at all
- What a unique compliment
- Oooh they’re about to get it!
- It’s the woman, she’s nearby
- Oh gosh I hate her already
- Get it Holly!
- I’m glad he had some kind of reaction to that craziness
It would be easy for me to go on and on. But, I won’t. I have now peppered the book with my thoughts. I find this to be a goof thing because I find the more thoughts or reactions you have while reading a book, the more invested you are. The story kept me invested the whole way through.
Two stories in One Book
So, without giving anything away, I’ll just say the book goes back and forth between two time periods. Flawlessly. It was as though I got to read two completely different stories that were both centered around the same thing and were both equally captivating.
I loved hearing both stories and they were essential to the mystery that needed to figured out. I never would have guessed that this haunted house story, or ghost story (whichever you prefer), would have captivated me like this. Then again, it is more than just a ghost story.
The Use of Pictures
I love maps and this book actually comes with one. The diagram of the property and house that a good chunk of this story takes place on is drawn out at the beginning of the book. And, there are guiding images throughout the story that just adds a whole other element to the novel.
I didn’t even need the pictures to see what was going on, but they were lovely to have anyway. I felt like they were there to help. The pictures aren’t just there for pretty. This to me adds a whole other level of care and attention to detail that the author provides.
The Writing Was Superb
Regardless of pictures or a good plot. Poor writing can ruin a potentially phenomenal story. Thankfully that is not the case with The Patience of A Dead Man.
The writing was complex which I find to be the missing piece in many books nowadays. I felt like I was reading the work of an intelligent man who left no stone unturned in this novel. His use of syntax, emotion, and visualization kept me wanting more and getting it with every page that I turned.
I felt like I was watching the story rather than reading it. I forgot about everything around me. The writing was smooth and extremely easy to understand. I never felt lost or like I didn’t know what was happening.
In fact, what I liked the most is that my train of thought followed with the characters. I never felt like I knew what was about to happen. I enjoyed this because if you have read my reviews before, then you know that I will not serious points off for predictability in a novel.
Anything Bad About The Book?
In any book review I do, I strive on honesty. That means pointing out the good with the bad of every book I read and review. However, with this book, the only thing I can say is, I wouldn’t recommend reading this at night.
I can honestly say that I didn’t find anything “bad” about the book. I’m excited to read the next one and I encourage you to start this series.
So, there you have it. My long raving about how good this book is. I hope that my review and the excerpt have given you enough to decide on if this book is for you. I don’t often give out 5 star reviews but this book has earned it (read my book review on Wander Home, another 5 star book). If you’d like to give this book a try, click the link below:
Also, there is a giveaway: To win print copies of the entire trilogy (US Only), or a print copy of The Patience of a Dead Man (International), enter a Rafflecopter giveaway
Let’s Talk About It!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What did you think of the excerpt from the first chapter of this book? Would you read it? Let me know in the comments down below!
P.S. This blog tour was organized by R &R Book Tours. I love working with them and they always have a slew of interesting books for me to bring your way. Check out this other tour I did with them here!
Blog Tour Schedule
Cats Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com
Ity Reads Books (Review) www.ityreadsbooks.com
Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/
Ally’s Reading Corner (Review) https://allysreadingcorner.com/
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
Sophril Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Cocktails and Fairy Tales (Review) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
@DreaminginPages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com
Dark Whimsical Art (Guest Post) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
@_MyBookCorner (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_mybookcorner/
Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com
Blood Rose Writings (Review) http://www.bloodrosewritings.blogspot.com
@TheCrookedHouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
J. Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
@heyyyitsfahh (Review) https://www.instagram.com/heyyyitsfahh/
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