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New Year Island: A Psychological Suspense Survival Thriller (Northern California Suspense Thrillers Book 1) by [Draker, Paul]
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New Year Island: A Psychological Suspense Survival Thriller (Northern California Suspense Thrillers Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 725 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Product description

About the Author

Paul Draker writes tightly-plotted, gritty modern thrillers that combine relentless suspense, intriguing mystery elements, and well-researched psychology. Each novel is an immersive roller coaster ride of a whodunit that keeps the reader guessing, right up until the last page. Paul previously worked in the aerospace/defense industry on a variety of classified and unclassified programs for DARPA, Navy, Army, and the Marine Corps. He has also run a Silicon Valley technology startup, and headed a leading game studio developing mobile video games for top-tier publishers such as EA, Disney/Pixar, Warner Brothers, THQ, and Glu. An avid scuba diver, he has spent time underwater in Palau, Yap, Honduras, Thailand, Hawaii, the Florida Keys, cenote caverns in Mexico, around much of the Caribbean, and in the "Red Triangle" off California's coast. He has had extensive tactical training in firearms, but after one too many high-speed motorcycle crashes, he is no longer allowed to own open-class sportbikes. He currently lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and three daughters.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4266 KB
  • Print Length: 725 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mayhem Press; 1 edition (11 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E69E91M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,142 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Before you get this book, clear your calendar, stock up on frozen TV dinners, and let your FB friends know that you'll be unavailable for a couple of days.

Ten people get invitations to be contestants on a reality show. It will be filmed on a deserted island, overrun by seals, birds and sharks. They get checks for $5,000 for showing up, with the promise of a first prize of 5 million, over a million for second and third, and $100,000 for everyone else who doesn't get disqualified.

The author introduces his characters in the very beginning and then sets the stage for the story from their personal points of view. His talent at laying the foundation through their backgrounds made interesting reading. The ten main characters -- the doctor, the model, the soldier, the mountain climber, the shy student, the SCUBA dive leader, the banker, the producer, the director of a women's shelter and the ex-con, all have a secret. Too many main characters can be confusing, but I had no trouble remembering any of them.

On the way to the island, the reader gets a unique feeling of foreboding. From then to the end of the book, there are goose bumps at every twist and turn.

I couldn't put the book down! I found myself planning to read just a few more pages, and ended up reading late into the night, even skipping dinner. The author has great skill at surrounding the unbelievable with the believable. He lures the reader into suspending reality.

This book has everything I need in a mystery and psychological thriller. Hands down, it's one of the most riveting books I've read in the last few years.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review, and I hope you found it helpful in making a purchase decision.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
**This review DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS **I really enjoyed this book. It's well written with 3-dimensional characters, fast, pacy and thrilling. Overall, the truly great outweighed the flaws and there are a few. It's Agatha Christie's idea brought up to date. If you've read "ten little Indians" this actually adds rather than detracts from the book as the premise is the same, but the plot is different so you find yourself comparing and leading yourself in the wrong direction. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and most of the characters, plenty of twists and turns and lots of character development along the way. All of the action is believable and steadily gets more horrific as the story progresses. I think he started the bar too high though on the horror. About halfway through the author reaches the peak for me and after that the reader is desensitised to the awful things happening. A bit of suspense would have helped draw it out a bit. Wasn't thrilled with the conclusion either. The book reads a lot like watching a movie and the end reflected this the most, with a few cliches added in. The motive for the perpetrator seemed weak and ineffectual and the character it was directed at just didn't hack it. One character was simply a "victim role" and I really don't get why this character was in it at all. Another was just someone to hate, not even a passable red herring. In fact, I think if it hadn't been based on "ten little Indians" probably less characters would've sufficed. In all, a great read, but too many characters and a weak ending.
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Format: Paperback
Let me first say that my husband is a bit irked with debut novelist, Paul Draker. I took this book with me on holiday, and I know he got tired of hearing, "I'll be ready to head out and *insert whatever activity here* in another 15-20 minutes...I'm at a really good spot." Dear hubby has just now begun reading New Year Island, so he should very soon understand how hard it is to put this book down.

The book grabs your attention right from the start with short flashback storylines for many of the main characters...each of them facing an intense, life-threatening ordeal. The short flashback chapters all end with the understanding that the individual survived; but that there was much more to the situation that lives on as secrets which haven't yet been revealed to the reader.

Spring ahead to many years later, and these same people, along with a few others, have all received an invitation that is too hard to turn down. As the ten selected candidates board a luxury megayacht, the mystery begins as they discover they are the only ones onboard other than the ship's crew. Rather than a live representative to greet them, a video image of their host, Julian, proceeds to divide them into two teams and provides a cursory explanation of what their contract entails. They're then transported to a remote biological research island off the California coast where they are to be abandoned for two weeks with the intention of competing for the $5,000,000 grand prize in a new reality show.

Upon their abandonment on the island, it becomes immediately apparent that things are not as they were expected to be. In an eerie following of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they begin their quest for shelter and food.
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Format: Paperback
This well written suspenseful psychological thriller centers on ten people who are mysteriously invited to participate in a reality TV survivor program where the prize winner will get five million dollars. They are told that they were selected because they are 'survivor' personality types and they will spend ten days to two weeks competing for the prize. A luxury yacht transports them to a small uninhabited island off the California coast where the 'show' takes place.

Soon enough, it becomes apparent that several of these people are hiding shameful secrets and the contest promoters have other ulterior motives in mind. Tension and suspicion build as people start to disappear or are murdered and this quickly becomes a battle for literal survival.

Personally, I thought that some things were a bit 'over the top', like the way some people kept surviving against incredible odds. For instance, it is hard to imagine that people at the heart of a massive explosion can actually survive, but they do in this story. So be prepared to suspend belief and enjoy the suspense and surprising twists and turns the author brings us.

The Kindle book is formatted well and the team score cards are nicely displayed.
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