3 out of 4 stars
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Johnny Wonder is the host of a reality TV show called America’s Next Great Psycho (ANGP). The show tracks fugitive serial killers and brings them to justice. However, Johnny and his partner, Ariadne, are soon on the run after the head of the Chinese-American Censorship Board, Faye Qing, slapped an injunction against the show, confiscating all their equipment. Johnny and Ariadne make their way back to Johnny’s childhood neighborhood, where they meet a man called Snakes. He gives them an idea of the perfect story that could rejuvenate ANGP.
He tells them to investigate and solve the long-standing mystery behind the disappearance of Doreen, Johnny’s high-school crush. With Faye Qing hot on their heels, they must put together a crew and get a camera if they are to get back to business. Why is Faye Qing against the ANGP show? Will Johnny and Ariadne succeed in solving the mystery? Or is everything just a figment of Johnny’s imagination? Find out the answers to these questions in Bullhead by Brian Zluticky.
The most interesting part of this book for me has to be its level of suspense. The author ensured that my attention was maintained by keeping me at the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next. He achieved this by not giving away much information too early in the book. Another thing I liked was that the author developed most of the characters satisfactorily, and I was able to understand and picture them. Additionally, the way the author described the scenes were revealing. As a result, it was easy for me to picture each event, as well as the appearance of each environment. My favorite scene in this novel is where Johnny and Doreen made their way to a creepy house called “The Goodman House” to rescue Johnny’s frog, Hoppy, who was stuck on the roof of the house.
Despite the positives, the book left me in no man's land towards the end. At that point, I didn’t understand what the book was all about. For example, the author introduced a character called Jordy, Doreen's cousin. Sometimes, it seemed like Johnny and Jordy were the same people, and other times, they seemed like different people. Another example of what got me confused was when Jordy was in a conversation with a character called Ravenna, only to end the same conversation with Mandy. That was the first and last time the name Mandy was mentioned in the entire book, so I’m not sure whether that was an oversight.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The one-star deduction is a result of the confusion I encountered towards the end of the book. I cannot rate the novel any less because I enjoyed most parts of the book. Moreover, the book is exceptionally edited since I found no errors throughout the text. I recommend this novel to people that are interested in fiction stories filled with suspense and mystery. Also, people that like unique stories will find this book worthwhile. However, the book contains a plethora of non-borderline profane words. Sensitive readers are advised to steer clear.
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