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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Occam is a work of fiction in the thriller and psychological suspense subgenres and was penned by author Kenneth James Allen. This spine-tingling read is intended for the mature adult audience owing to the presence of some explicit language and scenes of graphic violence. Writer Conrad Lockhart gets the shock of his life when he is kidnapped by drug lord Joaquin Jagger and tasked with the dangerous job of penning the criminal’s legacy story. Trapped in a hotel where nothing is as it seems and the deadline looming daily, Conrad finds his mind slowly beginning to unravel as pressure and punishment sink deep into his tortured psyche.
Author Kenneth James Allen certainly knows how to torture his readers just as much as his characters in this exciting and often harrowing work of thriller fiction. The psychological element of the story is an achievement in itself, unpicking every facet of the protagonist to test him, break him, and rebuild him in new and terrifying shapes. I enjoyed the prose itself, penned with a confident hand but always gently guiding the reader to the next scene without over-telling the story. Conrad is a masterclass in character development, and he clashes wonderfully with the weird and unsettling atmosphere created in Timor, where surprises and terror loom beyond every closed door. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Occam to thriller fans everywhere, especially those who relish a dark kidnapping story with constant suspense and an eerily accurate portrayal of psychological torment at its very worst.