An Apple For Zoë, The Forsaken by Thomas Amo

The City of San Francisco is locked in a grip of fear. A series of occult murders has led Inspector Thomas James to a crime scene similar to a murder committed 90 years ago in the once grand Aleris Hotel. A place where power barons of the early 20th Century engaged in witchcraft. And silent film stars indulged in the most wicked of sins.

A place where no one questions the black smoke the rises from the hotel's incinerators in the middle of the night.

This one requires an explanation.

I have a habit of not reading the back of a book too carefully. Mostly because I don't like having the book spoiled, which the back cover sometimes does. As such I didn't actually quite know what I was reading when I got started on An Apple for Zoë.

Initially it is just a crime story. Quite macabre, but also very interesting. It then turned... weird, for a lack of better word. Holy Cow - weird. Crime, horror, a dash of fantasy, superstition and action - they're all there.
About halfway through the book I looked up and confessed to my mother I had no idea what on earth just happened to the story. I can't tell you much without spoiling it, but I can tell you this: Once I read on and accepted that this was something very different from my usual choice of book, and the story kept going in this track, I got used to it and I found that I liked it. It's somehow so far out that you at some point accept it and are able to see past the surface and into the deeper pits and intentions of the story and its characters.

The book could have used one last look through as I spotted a few mix-ups between your and you're, some missing punctuation marks, as well as some sentences that could have used a bit of rephrasing. However, it is only a scattered handful and nothing that seriously disrupts the flow of the book.
At the beginning of the book a few of the characters seem a bit stiff and their actions and dialogue seem a bit forced. It loosens up throughout the book though, and although we're not given much background information about many of the characters I found I quite liked them. I also loved all the historical elements and twists of these.

Overall the book is well written and engaging. It was to me a fairly quick read as it possesses one of my most favourite qualities in a book - I couldn't put it down. Even when I thought it most absurd and way off, I read on because I was hooked. I wanted to know where Amo was headed with all of this, but I also wanted to learn more about the murders and the story.

It's book 1 of a trilogy and I must read the next to find out what happens.

305 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to author Thomas Amo for supplying me with a copy of the book to review.


  1. I'm hopping by from FF! You can follow me back at Coffee Table Reviews

  2. Hi, this is my first time to participate in The Friday Follow My Blog Hop-A lot of the 500 or so blogs I do follow join in every week so I thought why not try it-I will happily return all follows

    The Reading Life

    Mel u

  3. Sounds interesting. I have added it to my list :)

  4. Thanks for the review - it sounds creepy.

  5. Intriguing, definitely. I've done that to myself a few times - picked up a book expecting one thing and getting something else entirely different. But it was good!


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