3 out of 4 stars
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Following a brutal murder and a grieving mother’s curse, hell is unleashed on a small town in Pennsylvania. Years later, a neighborhood in Brooklyn appears to be the epicenter of horrific and violent deaths caused by a mysterious killer. The victims appear to have been slashed to death, and their remains fed on. The police believe the perpetrator is a ruthless serial killer, but they make no headway with the case.
Homicide Detective TJ Brown is tasked with investigating these killings. TJ is convinced that there is something peculiar about these murders, but he has no suspects and no leads. Until what looks like a three-inch severed arm of a very tiny human with a lethal-looking claw is found at a particularly grizzly crime scene. TJ has no idea what to make of what looks to be the murder weapon. It is unlike anything he has ever seen, and it leaves him with a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. What could the arm possibly have been attached to?
As TJ delves further into the case, his investigation takes him into the realm of myths and folklore, where he discovers the supposed one-time existence of some creatures in South America called Ribzkniks. Who or what are these Ribzkniks, and are they responsible for the vicious killings? How are they still in existence, and what are they doing in Brooklyn, New York? As fear and trepidation consume the city, TJ must find answers fast, or the next victim to get slashed to death just might be him.
Ribzkniks is an enthralling urban horror mystery novel by Y M Georges. The story pulls you in from the start with a disturbing yet riveting prologue that is guaranteed to pique the reader’s interest. The plot flowed fast while maintaining an adequate suspense level, and the writing was pleasantly engaging. The backstories shared were sufficient to make the characters relatable. It also ensured that their individual motives were understood. The dialogue felt organic, and the narrative was done in the third person by different characters, lending the plot a well-rounded feel.
I liked how the author made sure to share the backstories of not just the key characters but also the murdered victims. By knowing their story, the reader forms a connection with the characters, no matter how tenuous. They become more than just convenient victims to move the narrative along, but also individuals with aspirations whose lives were cut short, and the reader cannot help but feel for them. I also liked the fast pace of the plot and the way it was not bogged down by any unnecessary details.
I had some issues with the book. There were a few editing errors, mainly with misplaced quotation marks, some typos, and grammatical errors. Secondly, some sub-plots were not sufficiently resolved. Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail without giving away spoilers. While the ending leaves room for speculation on the possibility of a second book, it would have been nice to have a tidy resolution to some of the lesser storylines. Nevertheless, this is my personal opinion and does not necessarily detract from the quality of the story.
Ribzkniks was a riveting read, thanks to the compelling plot delivery and engaging writing, and I enjoyed reading every page of it. Unfortunately, I am compelled to deduct a star due to the editing errors, resulting in a 3 out of 4 stars rating. Apart from the unavoidable depiction of violence, given the kind of story this is, the book contained some strong language and a few intimate scenes. Fans of urban horror or fantasy mystery books with paranormal elements will enjoy this story.
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