Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.
Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.
Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.
With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.
But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.
Can Michael ever escape the past?
Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?
And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?
The Abattoir of Dreams is a very dark, disturbing read. It's a shockingly powerful work of fiction.
Oxford, 1976. Michael Tate wakes up in hospital from a coma. He's paralysed from the waist down and suffering from amnesia. He doesn't know who he is or what happened to him. A rather loathsome cop, Detective Inspector Carver comes to visit him and accuses him of brutally murdering his girlfriend Becky. Michael is informed that after the murder he attempted suicide. Michael is stunned. He doesn't remember a thing!
Then bizarre things start to happen. In a number of scenes that reminded me of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Michael is taken from his hospital bed, back in time, vividly reliving his miserable childhood and teenage years. Michael is terrified and confused by these episodes. What's happening to him? Is he just imagining everything? Is this the result of his fall from the tower block? A side effect of his medication? Or is his memory trying to come back? Will Michael find the truth of what really happened? Did he really kill his girlfriend in a frenzied attack? Or is someone trying to set him up?
Having a supernatural element and abuse as its main theme (two things I try to avoid in books) I was a bit concerned that I would not enjoy this book, but I took the plunge and read it. This book is somewhat different to what I would normally read but it's very well written with a well thought out, heart-wrenching plot at its heart. Now that I've finished it, to say I 'enjoyed' it wouldn't exactly be the right phrase to use, due to the book's theme - abuse - but I am just so glad I've read it. I feel I've gone on a journey alongside Michael. I've suffered with him through his ordeal and felt his pain.
Now, I like my stories to be as realistic as possible, so I would have preferred that this book did not include any supernatural happenings. I tried not to focus much on that aspect and instead concentrated on Michael's story. I wanted to know how Michael ended up accused of murder, what horrors has he gone through and what will happen to him.
Have you ever read a book and hated the villain so much you wished you could somehow get inside the story and kill him with your own bare hands? Well this is one such book. I have never hated a character as much as I've hated Detective Inspector Carver! He must be the most horrible, despicable and hateful villain I've ever encountered in all the books I've read. And he wasn't the only disgusting pervert in this book.
Brilliantly written, this book made me feel all sorts of emotions. I was angry, sad, tearful, on edge, frustrated and disgusted, but also hopeful. My heart went out to Michael. I was gutted for what he went through and I wished I could help him in some way. And though there were some scenes I found a bit difficult to read, that made me wince and bite my knuckles, the author did an incredible job in tackling the subject of abuse as sensitively as possible, using the right words to soften the horror.
I feel that this book has had some kind of effect on me, not sure how to explain it, but I know that Michael will remain with me for a very long time.
This was my first book by Mark Tilbury, but it certainly won't be my last. With thanks to the author for an ARC of this book which I voluntarily accepted to read and review.
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused. He's always had a keen interest in writing, and has just written his third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams.
When he's not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar,and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.