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Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Warden by Jon Richter - Book Tour & Review


The Warden, by Jon Richter - Book Information

 

·       Purchase link: http://mybook.to/theWardenJonRichter

·       Genre: Psychological Thriller

·       Print length: 312

·       Suitable for young adults? This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16-18

·       Trigger warnings: Covid references; homicide with some graphic violence; references to medical experimentation on humans; swearing; brief animal cruelty (goldfish left to die); references to suicide and mental illness

·       Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

 

About The Warden

The year is 2024, and the residents of the Tower, a virus-proof apartment building, live in a state of permanent lockdown. The building is controlled by a state-of-the-art AI named James, who keeps the residents safe but incarcerated. Behind bricked-up front doors, their every need is serviced; they are pampered but remain prisoners.

This suits Eugene just fine. Ravaged by the traumas of his past, the agoraphobic ex-detective has no intention of ever setting foot outside again. But when he finds the Tower’s building manager brutally murdered, his investigator’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore the vicious crime.

What Eugene finds beyond the comfort of his apartment’s walls will turn his sheltered existence upside down. To unravel the Tower’s mysteries, he must confront James… and James takes his role as the Warden very, very seriously.

 

Praise for The Warden

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐         I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book set during a pandemic – but I’m so glad I did. One of my top reads of 2021 – it grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go till the fantastic ending. Part psychological thriller, part horror story, part crime novel – and there’s even a touch of romance – all brought together by superb writing. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐        Wow, I loved this book! Set in the year 2024, with flashbacks to 2020, it shows an alternative reality to the Covid situation we’re currently living through. The virus has become even more virulent, and people are shut inside their homes, terrified to go out. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐        Massive 5 stars. Jon Richter is an author I admire – I loved his Rabbit Hole, and it was my number one book for 2020. This one is definitely in the running for being number one in 2021! It is set in Covid times, with some remarkably likeable characters who prove to be anything but… Amazon Review

 
My Review
This is the first full-length novel I've read by Jon Richter. I've previously review a short story collection, and I loved that, so I was excited to see how The Warden would play out. It's definitely a book that hits a little too close to home. Set in 2024 (that's a bit too close for comfort in terms of "dystopian" type fiction), the story takes place in a building called The Tower. It's a virus-proof, 100-storey behemoth where tenants live rent-free in exchange for being monitored 24/7. There's an AI named James who controls basically everything in the building. He's the Warden. The rules, not just for the building but for the whole world, are simple: Follow the Guidelines, and Stay Inside to Stay Alive. You see, Covid-24 is now a thing. The virus has mutated to the point where it is now completely unsafe to even think about stepping outside. Your every need is taken care of via robots and AI. What more could you ask for?
The main character, Eugene, is a retired detective who happens to be agoraphobic. This whole quarantine thing is just fine with him. He can call other tenants in the building and talk to them. He's fine staying in his apartment 24/7. But one day, things change. 
Not only is Eugene dealing with his old partner being depressed and unwilling to speak to anyone, but there are also rumors of people turning into zombies if they go outside and get infected with the virus. Eugene doesn't believe that. But when Curtis, one of the building managers, winds up dead (dismembered in the elevator), Eugene has to put on his detective hat once more and try to solve the mystery behind what happened before it's too late. What is James hiding? And what, exactly, is really going on? 
This is definitely a thrilling read. Its got horror elements, crime elements, and even a hint of romance. The characters are relatively likable, and the plot is easy to get sucked into. And while most things have gone back to normal now (at least here in the US) even with Covid still be a thing, this book still feels like it could be a realistic future. Things could take a turn, and then we'd all be living in our own version of this horrific nightmare.
I really enjoyed the story, and I will definitely be reading more of Jon Richter's stuff.  
4.5 stars!

About Jon Richter

Jon Richter writes genre-hopping dark fiction, including his three gripping crime thrillers, Deadly Burial, Never Rest and Rabbit Hole, his cyberpunk noir thriller Auxiliary: London 2039 and his new techno-thriller The Warden, as well as two collections of short horror fiction.

 

Jon lives in London and is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a great story!  He writes whenever he can, and hopes to bring you many more sinister tales in the future.  He also co-hosts the Dark Natter podcast, a fortnightly dissection of the world’s greatest works of dark fiction, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix.

If you want to chat to him about any of this, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites or Instagram @jonrichterwrites.  His website haunts the internet at www.jon-richter.com, and you can find his books available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OXXRVP.

 

 

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