Monday, 28 July 2014

The Author by T.J Blake - Reviewed by Dr Babus Ahmed.

 See Bottom of post for details of a giveaway

T.J. Blake's The Author is a lurid tale about writer Ryan Milligan, who moves into a quiet cul-de-sac,Mulberry Lane, four years after the disappearance of his wife Tanya and his two children; daughter Sammy and son Alex. 

Tanya, Sammy and Alex disappeared without a trace one night from their family home, police found no leads on them at all after questioning Ryan and Tanya's parents. Since the trauma of losing them Ryan has been having nightmares for the duration that his family have been missing. He moves to get away from his painful memories and continue the search for them. He chooses to move into 2 Mulberry Lane as he feels a certain familiarity with the house

 Ryan becomes friends with Simon and Sandra Cann, one of his neighbours and soon after gives the manuscript of his new book Killing For Your Love to Simon for a first read while he is away for work to give Ryan feedback. However, things take a sinister turn when Ryan feels he is being watched, a number of blonde women are being attacked and killed by a suspected serial killer, he finds a dead fox strung up in his shed and things keep moving in his house. Plus the book he has written and given his friend to read is markedly changed from the version he is convinced he wrote. 

Ryan is made to feel paranoid, not knowing who he can trust and that he is losing his mind and I am mindful of not revealing too much in this review which would spoil reading The Author. The supernatural feel to this thriller keeps you reading an there are many suspenseful passages where you just want to hide behind a pillow:
“As I make my way to the kitchen, the door under the stairs catches my attention. It's standing ajar. It creaks and I stare as I walk slowly towards it. The handle is cool to the touch. I yank open the door and for a minute I could've sworn a shadowy figure appeared in front of me. It disintegrates into thin air.” 

Poor Ryan goes through a lot in this thriller even before the first big plot spiral occurs and you cannot help but feel sorry for this poor writer, who has already lost his family and finds settling into Mulberry Lane full of pitfalls and inexplicable meanderings. I thought the characters were well written and the writing sticks to the core themes without meandering, even when you aren't told how it all fits together. Just when you think you have worked this book out another big twist comes and blows your theory out of the water. Some of the dialogue is stilted but I think the book overall is chilling and far from predictable but to be devils advocate, there is an element of disbelief that surfaces at the conclusion of this psychological thriller, although most of the questions you have are answered at the end.  Perhaps a simpler plot may have made this story more remarkable and covered all points more fully.

I am sure the plausibility of the plot would make lively debate in many book clubs, but for me, an avid horror and psychological thriller reader, I enjoyed this book for the writing which was suspenseful and the plot twists which surprised me and kept me guessing. There were times I wish the author had taken his time over explaining certain things, and it could have done with a more thorough proof-read as I found a few errors whilst I read it, for example a psychiatrist is a Dr, not a Mr, although a relatively small thing is repetitive, but overall I liked it. I applaud T.J. Blake's ability to keep readers on the edge of their seat and keep them coming back for more and the concept of this unique premise for a book.

T. J. Blake was born in England, Guildford in 1993. He currently lives in Surrey and studies at Kingston University. T. J. Blake has had a passion for writing stories from a young age, and he has always dreamed of being able to release his material for people to read and enjoy.
Becoming a self-published author was his best option at this moment in time, whilst being a full time student at University.

Endurance is his first self-published book. 
He published it March 28th 2013, and then re-released in July 2013.
The book came around from a screenplay that T. J. Blake wrote in an A-level Film Studies class. He decided to write a mysterious opening set on the London Undergrounds. His screenplay was handed in as a comedy. 
November 2013, T. J. Blake decided to use the opening for a potential book he didn't know the name of. 

Beginning to edit the scene used for the screenplay and continuing to write the rest of the book, he came up with the name Endurance, to match the intensity of the fast paced story that he had planned out in his mind. He also came up with a new name for the main character. The protagonist in the screenplay Detective Williams, soon became Tom Williams for Endurance.

T.J. Blake can be found on 

The Author can be found  here on Amazon

For a chance to win a copy of this absorbing thriller, leave a comment on the blog below or on our Facebook page


  1. This looks like a cracking good read, with lots of twists and turns would love the opportunity to win this book


  2. What a lovely read! Looks great!

    Emma x

  3. wow. this look s like my kind of book.