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on 29 August 2014
Omg...sick.... Now off to read the sequel
Ps. Not for the faint hearted
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on 15 December 2013
Not for the faint hearted The Summer I Died is certainly the most brutal and ferocious book I've read to date, there are some seriously sickening moments amidst a book filled with torture scenes but you know what, you can't stop reading it's absolutely riveting.

Roger back from college goes out to the mountainous woodland with his friend Tooth to drink some beers and shoot some cans, life is about to take a horrific turn when they go to investigate sounds of a woman screaming. They find a blood drenched young woman trying to escape a maniacal killer with some equally vicious dogs, known only as `skinny man' and the friends soon find themselves chained up in the basement at the mercy of a seriously deranged and sadistic individual.

This is a vivid and powerful story, distinctively driven by friendship, yes the violence is extreme and disturbing, just when you think there's no more possible, you turn the page and start again but you can't stop reading. Highly recommended, the tension is overwhelming at times and The Summer I Died is apparently being scripted for filming.
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on 16 November 2013
This book really was as nasty as people warned me it was, but i loved it.....

It's so much more than just blood and gore. It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to books, ive read a lot of horrors where violence is the main theme and i dont normally flinch. The victims are normally faceless characters i dont care about because they're just there to die bloody and ramp up the shock factor, which is basically fine for the most part but i cared about Roger and Tooth!
Every horrendous thing they went through, was made so much worse and had so much more impact because Ryan C. Thomas made them into real people.....I gave a shit!
Tooth especially,.....he had so much grit and heart. I wanted to cheer everytime he fought back and refused to give in, but at the same time i was silently willing him to just be quiet in the hope that "skinny man" wouldn't hurt him.

This review does have to come with a warning though.....its a good read, but not an easy one. If your easily shocked or particularly sensitive to blood and violence then steer clear. There are some scenes that are particularly harrowing, and once it starts it doesn't really let up, it just keeps coming. It's heart wrenching because as ive already said you care about the main characters so much, and its written with so much depth and feeling. Sometimes you just want to cover your eyes and hide under the covers!
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on 10 September 2013
Stunning, brutal and not for the faint hearted...but if you like your horror on the extreme then come right in the waters warm!! At the end of the book there is a lovely quote which to me puts this story into some kind of perspective..." I didn't know why. Because everyone has a purpose, right? Because we're all part of God's master plan, a master plan that lets evil men take away the lives of innocent people, that lets some of us live while our friends and loved ones die before our eyes. Or maybe because God's just up there rolling some dice, using us as tokens in a universal board game. Or maybe it's bad luck, or maybe it's good luck, or maybe shit just happens and you deal with it. Or maybe the dice are loaded so your number never comes up, or maybe the game is fixed. Who knows?"... What is so amazing and diverse is the way this story starts out as a faint stroll...two friends Roger and Tooth enjoying the summer just partaking in a little target practice (although I did wonder at there somewhat crazy antics with a 44 magnum)Just before the action really kicks off, Roger contemplates how simple the act of murder is "I hefted the gun while he went and put the can back on the limb. When he was walking back he pretended to dodge bullets. And that was the first moment in my life I scared myself, because I felt how easy it would be to shoot someone in the head, dump the body in the woods, and walk away scot-free. The simplicity of it shook me...Or maybe Id just read too many comics.."
A simple act, a single moment can change our lives and for our two would be heroes that moment comes when they hear the screams of a woman, go to investigate and meet Skinny Man..from this moment on we are faced with butchery and brutality on an unprecedented level which makes for difficult yet essential reading. I think the brutality smoothly blended with Ryan C Thomas's depiction of good and evil and there is a certain justice in the conclusion that will most certainly leave the reader content and glad that he took the ride...but be warned this is a difficult read and in my mind of the best books of this type of horror I have ever read...enjoy but keep your doors tightly locked at night :)
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on 16 September 2015
Book review - The Summer I Died - Ryan C Thomas

This was the first book that I have read by this particular author. It was recommended by a friend.

The story is about two friends, Roger Huntington and his friend 'Tooth.' They have been friends for years, most of their life experiences together so far they have shared together.

The two friends decide one day to go shooting, practice with a few tin cans and drink a few beers. Headed for the remote woodlands, they are alerted by the desperate screams of a woman.

Running to investigate they are attacked by dogs, Tooth is led to kill one in self defence. The story takes an enormous twist as Roger, Tooth and the unknown woman are locked in the basement of a dangerous and deluded individual plastered in tattoo's that is simply referred to as 'Skinny Man.' A man hell bent on revenge for the death of his dog and torture on his mind.

As Roger's sister Jamie makes a surprise entrance, the torture becomes increasingly brutal as it becomes a fight between superheroes and villains. Who will the dice favour?

I really enjoyed this book, the first half of the book held such nostalgia as stories such as Stand By Me or Sleepers. It transcends into depravity for a period that I have rarely seen sustained in a book without losing interest or plot.

Sweet, horrible and compelling all within one set of covers. I will be checking out further work by Ryan C Thomas.
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on 5 October 2013
Downloaded this to my kindle yesterday afternoon and finished it within hours. I mean, I POWERED through this book. It's gripping and repulsive in equal measures, like watching a car crash, you can't look away even though you feel that you should. If you're squeamish then stay away. I know it's sort of got a 'torture porn' label but it is so engaging and really deals with a lot of deep emotional issues that it can in no way be condemned as simply trying to shock with violence. The characters are developed well, particularly Tooth, and some of the things that happened to them almost reduced me to tears. The relationship between the two boys feels very genuine. I would absolutely recommend this book as long as you can stomach the violence, as it basically consists of page after page of horrific torture. Think Jack Ketchum's 'The Girl Next Door', though I actually found this book to be more emotional than Ketchum's, which is quite an achievement.
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on 18 November 2013
This book is brutal . There were times i wanted to put it down but had to keep on reading . It makes you feal dirty and judge yourself for reading it . But you care for the people your reading about . It makes you ask yourself what would i do . If you like horror books that get under your skin , this book is for you .
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on 11 November 2013
Just wanted to say I read this book out of nowhere knowing nothing about it other than what was covered on the back of the cover and I have to say its maybe the best book I've ever read I cant believe its relatively unknown and had such little attention this deserves better I don't know the author and this is the first book of his I have read but I will try more of his and I have to say anyone who likes Richard laymon or looking for the next Richard laymon this is it cant describe how tense this book was I finished it in one day and am now going to purchase the sequel which I just heard about and has me very excited I hope people stumble onto this book like I have and it gets the recognition it deserves if 6 stars were possible then this would be the book deserving of that sort of praise couldn't put it down a must read
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on 22 July 2015
I guess this book would be my introduction to extreme horror. I had to put it down a couple of times as the violence became a bit much for me, but unlike other extreme works, this had a good storyline. I've read other works that focus on the 'shock factor' more than the characters. You're left remembering the terrible torture but the character who suffered through it are nameless. I connected with tooth and roger through this book, especially poor tooth. The first part of the book focused on character development, the author wants us to know these lads and connect with them properley. Then they decide to go target practice shooting in the hills and their fate is sealed. I'd warn anyone who is considering this book that it is extreme, but unlike a lot of other extreme books it's written very well.
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on 8 November 2013
OMG what a journey, sadistic violence is never ending. I wanted to read and read and turn pages faster and faster to see what happens next. In parts humorous and heart breaking. Two friends stumble across the path of the skinny man and what happens next is terrifying. Skinny man is coming can hear his footsteps, OMG my heart is beating faster and faster I'm turning pages faster cannot stop reading. This is not for the fainthearted mucho violence and torture my stomach did a flip a few times and I had to stop eating my sandwich but was still compulsive reading. I have to read the sequel to see what happens next.
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