The storm of '87 had been the greatest, most ferocious storm to have hit Britain in centuries. The suffering that ensued was plentiful, but none more so than that of little Matthew Mason, whose parents were brutally murdered in the midst of the storm by a homeless man desperate to find shelter.
After 25 years of torment, Matthew is released from a mental institute under the watchful eye and care of Tammy Atkins, a care worker with a secret history of alcohol abuse and self-harm. As Matthew struggles to adapt to his new found liberty, he finds himself continuously plagued by the demons of his past. Haunted by strange and ghastly images and urges, Matthew sets himself upon a path of vengeance; determined to seek out his parents' killer and put his demons to rest once and for all. The Damaged is a disturbing psychological thriller, delving deep into the darkest depths of the human psyche.
©2015 Simon Law (P)2016 Simon Law
I liked the downward spiral of Matthew's sanity throughout the story, how his mind got more and more distorted from reality. I found the story set up both Matthew and Tammy's back story and why they bonded how they did.
The narrator did a good job throughout with the delivery.
I found when the thoughts of each character were read seemed a little basic and not always necessary.
The setting of the storm of 1987 was a good back ground event to the story.
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
There is so much I really enjoyed about this book. So, so much. From the storm itself, being reminded of all the things I love back in 87 I was 10 years of age then and Thundercats, and plugging in and shooting aliens was totally my life! I love this kid.
But, it soon turns really nasty and his parents are murdered. The storm itself is horriffic. The descriptions and emotions evoked through this are very real, and disturbing. This then does throw Matthew into the next years of his life as the damaged soul he is.
The writing and research that the author has done to get so deep into the psychological problems of such trauma is sheer amazing. From experience and my own pain, there was nothing here that struck out to me as being 'wrong' I could clearly identify with both Matthew and Tammy.
Tammy is as much as Matthew a very disturbed woman with a past almost as worrying. Almost killing her daughter, and drinking far too much for her own health. She's supposed to be Matthews carer, but she's hurt and suffers with illness as well. Not too sure that's a combination that would be allowed. With my mental illness I was refused to go into the caring community job wise. A blessing in disguise I'm sure, for what they actually see.
So, yes, this book/narration is very real, very deep and hauntingly disturbing. And actually quite triggering, but don't worry. It was good and good to see someone put so much effort both into the narration and the story.
This is the first British narrator I've actually listened to, and I did find that although Rob had a lovely tone for his characters, his actual narration could bring me out of the story just a few times. But, enough that I needed to mention. I do think that together both the author and narrator make a great team, the husky voice of Rob and the smooth flow... to the upward climb of tension towards the novel's climax. Excellent working AudioBook.
If you regularly love horror, thriller and disturbing stories, then this is right up your street.
This audio was truly a joy to listen to and had me gripped from the start.If dark and twisted is for you then I highly recommende The Damaged...Matthew and Tammy keep you on edge.I loved this story and have now also brought the book....5 thrilling stars..
I received a free copy of The Damaged in return for an honest review.
I would definitely try another of Simon's books. However, and being brutally honest, I struggled with Rob's narration and found it distracting at times - quite robotic over-annunciation, which dampened my enthusiasm; everyone's story-ear is different though, so might just be me. I imagine that in written form, The Damaged would have been a page-turner.
Without giving too much away...how depressingly realistic the characters truly are...this is testament to Simon's character development
Robert G. Slade impresses
It would be a brave studio boss that commissioned The Damaged as one-off series, but I could see it being taken on in this format, as opposed to a movie. It would demand the courage of a channel like AMC (as in The Walking dead) to do it justice and really pull out the gruesome nature of the story. In terms of actors: Matthew - Tom Hardy. Tammy - Thandie Newton
As a first 'book' for Simon, The Damaged is an unsettling psychological/horror story, and is probably one of the darkest I have listened to in a while. Graphic, gruesome (in places) and twisted - yeah, made me feel uncomfortable as all good horror stories should!
This was a book I could hardly put down,even through the gorey bits.Rob Goll does a fine job with character voices.When Matthew was a child he saw his parents murdered by a tramp.He is released 25 years later from a mental institution with instructions for home care personnel to make sure he takes his pills.Through his masterful deceit he forgoes them causing a lengthy breakdown that takes its toll on his care workers,vagrants and anyone that gets in his way.
I was given this book for an honest review.
"A Fascinating and Disturbingly Dark Read"
Wow! It is fairly high!
The deep look into the human psyche. Overall? It is really good.
First time I have heard him. He did an Awesome Job!
Yes! Unfortunately, life does not agree at times.
5 out of 5 Hearts
A Fascinating and Disturbingly Dark Read!!
Simon Law is a New to me author.I found this book to be both Fascinating and Disturbingly Dark. Fascinating because it does look pretty deep into the human psyche and how events in our lives can affect us, even years down the road.
Well written, multi layered, and packed with characters that are very well developed and believable, I had to walk away a time or two, set my tablet down, and process what was happening. This story has some serious triggers in it and may not be for everyone.The world is dark, consistent, and well developed, downright even scary at times. 25 years in a mental institution is not an easy pill to swallow.
Both Matthew and Tammy have some deep seated issues they are dealing with too. I don't use spoilers in my reviews, as they may ruin a read for someone.
The narrator did an amazing job of presenting each of the chararafters, there is no way I could not keep them consistent. Great Job!
I was gifted an audio book version of this story by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. No renumeration was involved.
"Deeply disturbing, utterly brilliant horror story"
Matthew Mason's troubles started with the Great Storm of 1987, which hit the UK in October of that year. 25 years later, the listener meets up with Matthew again as his home carer, Tammy, is sent to see him twice daily to assist with his medication. Both, Tammy and Matthew, are deeply damaged souls albeit for completely different reasons. Initially thinking, this may be a story of loss and grief and two broken people finding each other, I kind of settled in for an emotional psychological suspense story, but author Simon Law took this to places I never expected. It veered right off into seriously dark, twisted and very disturbing territory. I loved it!
The audio version is just over 12 hours. I finished it in 2 days. I literally listened whenever I had a chance to do so.
The writing is fluid and very vivid, and there were passages where I really considered pausing the audio, which so far has only ever happened while listening to the Smoky Barrett books by Cody McFadyen. However, I think the most unnerving part of this was the fact how utterly realistic the characters were. It was truly scary.
Trigger warning: this contains scenes of self-harm.
If you're like me and you struggle with anything involving harm to animals, some of this will be uncomfortable. Parts of this are extremely graphic and gory.
If you enjoy horror and extremely intense explorations into very fragile minds, listen to this! It was brilliant. If you're squeamish, you may find this difficult.
As far as the narration is concerned, I enjoyed it for the most part. The narrator has a very clear, pleasant voice, great pacing and was good at getting the emotions across and voicing the male characters. As with many male narrators, his female voices took some time to get used to, though.
I was gifted a copy of the audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review. My sincere thanks to Simon Law. Can't wait to see what comes next!
"Great Story/If you like graphic even better"
The story could stand alone. Then the supernatural is blended in nicely. It will leave you guessing what is their reality and what is damage
"Great story, okay narration"
From reading the description of this book, it seemed like a perfect book to me. I absolutely LOVE dark, psychological thrillers. And as suspected, the story was great. My problem came in with the Audible narration of the book. Though the narrator, Rob Goll, had a really nice voice (pretty sexy), the performance was lacking. I thought the narration was a bit flat. I think I would have enjoyed this book more on the Kindle. I found that I was noticing a pattern in the inflection that was actually distracting me from the story as I would predict which tone of voice (I think that's it) the narrator would use. It was strange. I've never had the experience before. Aside from the that, the story was great, had lots of twists and turns, kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat. I don't usually reread books, but I would be tempted to read a physical copy of this book, rather than listen to it, again because I know I would enjoy this book even more.
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