Manifest Recall is the new novella from award-winning author Alan Baxter. Told in two parts, Manifest Recall is a fantastically enjoyable story that blends the thriller and supernatural genres skillfully. It had me turning pages faster than I have done in a long while.
The first part is a slow building, examination of the fragile mind of Eli Carver, a brutal hitman that suffers from memory loss and blackouts. It’s from one of these blackouts he finds himself waking in a car he doesn’t own, with a woman he doesn’t know, heading towards who knows where. As they travel, fragments of his memory return, building up more and more of Eli’s back story. I adored this method of story telling and was so engrossed come the end of Part 1, I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. I’d be very surprised if most people didn’t finish the book in one sitting, the set up for Part 2 is nigh on perfect.
Whereas Part 1 was setting the scene and helping us plug the gaps in Eli’s fragile memory, Part 2 is an action packed, brutal action masterclass. We are talking about a brutality that would make even Tarantino wince. Manifest Recall is incredibly well written, unflinching but never salacious. There were several moments I was thinking “no Alan, you can’t do that” and you know what? He did! And I loved every blood soaked minute of it! Imagine a John Wick/The Frighteners mashup ramped up to 11! I was there alongside Eli, I too could feel the cold steel of the gun pressed against my temple. There are enough horror elements to satisfy the most ardent of fan, whilst obviously still appealing to the crime/thriller reader. To say any more about Manifest Recall would spoil what is one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Manifest Recall does start off slowly, but once it picks up pace it becomes a relentless assault. Baxter has created a lead character in Eli Carver that you really shouldn’t like, yet I was unashamedly rooting for him as he broke bones and smashed teeth. The world Alan Baxter has built in so few pages has to be revisited, I’m already stockpiling the ammunition for the sequel.
Eli has to get his bullets from somewhere.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4****
Kendall Reviews Giveaway
Thanks to the wonderful Grey Matter Press Kendall Reviews has two copies of Manifest Recall to giveaway!
All you need to do is follow Kendall Reviews on Twitter (@gjkendall) and Like/Follow my pinned post.
NOW CLOSED. Thank you to everyone that took part.
Following a psychotic break, Eli Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.
A contemporary southern gothic thriller with frightening supernatural overtones, Alan Baxter’s Manifest Recall explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darkest realms of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption.