ARC REVIEW: Blood Moon – by John David Bethel

Title: Blood Moon
Author: John David Bethel

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: December 4th 2016
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Finished reading: April 2nd 2017
Pages: 355

“When your life is on the line, you can do a lot of things you never thought possible.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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April is going to be all about the ARC readathon, so what better way than to start the month with an ARC?! I’ve had Blood Moon pending for a while now. I remember reading the blurb back when I was offered a copy and being intrigued by the brutality of the case and the note that part of the story was actually based on a true event. This fact alone adds a whole different level to Blood Moon, because the main character goes through a LOT: it’s basically a miracle he was able to survive. I think it was a wise choice to include the introduction and explain more about the original case; some readers might have ended up questioning the credibility of the plot otherwise. Blood Moon is an interesting read with a lot of action and violent/graphic scenes (little warning in case you don’t like those!). The prose reads easily and the pace is fast, as you might already expect for these kind of stories. I also liked the use of Spanish by some of the characters as it added without doubt authenticity to the story. And while initially I had my doubts about the obvious grammar mistakes in the Spanish dialogues, they turned out to be an accurate imitation of how Spanish is actually spoken on the streets of Miami (as was clarified by the author). In short, if you enjoy reading fast-paced thrillers and don’t mind a healthy dose of violence and graphic scenes, definitely give Blood Moon a go. The whole story is intriguing!

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Just as the Cuban-American businessman Recidio Suarez is about to leave his business, he is brutally beaten and abducted. He finds himself handcuffed, shackles and blindfolded in an unknown building, and he has no clue as to why he has been targeted in the first place. The kidnappers accuse him of stealing, but Recidio doesn’t remember ever having stolen something. And then he recognizes a voice, and knows he is in big trouble. Recidio is tortured and threatened; forced to hand over his multi-million dollar holdings to his captors. Somehow he manages to survive, but his story doesn’t end there… As nobody seems to believe Recidio’s story except for his lawyer and family.

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The plot of Blood Moon is a story almost too incredible to be true, and I guess that if I hadn’t read the introduction first I would have thought it to be not that plausible. But it is all too real what the main character Recidio has to go through… And the whole ordeal definitely makes for an excellent as well as horrific thriller story. Fast-paced and easy to read, action-packed and gritty; if you like the genre, you will enjoy this one.


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20 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Blood Moon – by John David Bethel

  1. Thank you very much for the review. Indeed, I do receive comments about the plot line and its plausibility. Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction, and in this case, although a novelization of the true crime, it is depicted accurately, As you note, the Foreword by the surviving victim of the crime attests to the novel’s authenticity,

    Again, I appreciate the review.

  2. I’m with you on the bad grammar/bad syntax thing. It seems to me too many books are getting through the editing process uncorrected – what are editors, proofreaders etc thinking – or is it just that kids don’t have to learn grammar any more. Oops, sorry, I should have put a strike out line through ALL of that! 🙂

    • It’s without doubt true that some books hardly seem to have been edited at all… Although I was wrong about Blood Moon in the end. I had my doubts about just the Spanish parts in this story, but they turned out to be an accurate imitation of how Spanish is actually spoken on the streets of Miami (as was clarified by the author).

  3. I should have addressed on the “bad” grammar comments earlier. I believe she is referring to grammar as it pertains to the bits in Spanish. The grammar is indeed “rough” in the conversations between and among the perpetrators as these are under-educated or just plain uneducated people. And in Miami, Cuban Spanish is almost idiomatic in the sense that the Spanglish spoken is a mesh of Spanish and English, and where Spanish is spoken exclusively, it isn’t very refined Spanish. I had the use of the Spanish in Blood Moon reviewed by a professor at the University of Miami to check that my usage — while intentionally “off” — mirrored the way it is spoken in Miami.

    • Thank you for clarifying that! I knew about the ‘Spanglish’ in NY from my studies and I’m aware of the history of Cubans and Cuban Spanish in Miami, although I have never visited myself. It’s interesting to see how it’s actually spoken in Miami; it makes the philologist in me want to investigate the phenomenon further. (For example; I’ve been told that in NY it’s rather a mix of English and Spanish in the same sentence). I will adapt my original review so readers won’t misinterpret and think there were grammar mistakes.

      • Thanks for the consideration. I’m certain you’d have a wonderful time studying the various speech patterns and idioms of the Spanish language as it is spoken in Miami. The different generations (and social strata) of Cubans arriving in Miami at different times over the past 50 years have brought variations in the way the language is spoken. And the adaptations of Spanish — not only to English creating the Spanglish variation of the language — but to the many accents and idioms brought from different Spanish speakers from the Caribbean as well as South and Central America make for a real mish-mash of the language.

      • I actually considered studying the use of Spanglish for my Bachelor thesis years ago, but ended up with a different subject. It’s without doubt a fascinating subject though! Especially with all the changes and variations in the different generations; but then again a language never stands still.

    • Before making a final decision, please see the explanation for the “bad grammar.” There’s more to that story. And I urge you to read the Foreword to the novel written by the real life victim of the crime. It puts the violence depicted in the novel into perspective. The graphic scenes are not in any way gratuitous and do fit with the telling of the story.

      Thanks.

    • If you don’t like graphic scenes this story might not be for you, but the Spanish grammar mistakes turned out to be a misunderstanding in the end. My bad! 😉 It’s without doubt a fascinating story though.

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  8. I still have this one to read. I was very interested because it’s labeled as true crime. I had to print the book though because the formatting (pdf) was not ok to read on my ereader and now it’s all loose A4 pages and reason why other books keep getting in between. After reading your review I’ve got a new resolve to read it soon though. Fab review.

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