Influence: Chris Parker

Good evening lovely readers, this book has been in the pipeline for the while and I finished reading it a little while ago now but couldn’t decide how to write this review. I have a book bloggers notebook that I use to make notes on all my books and re-reading through my notes it all kind of clicked into place. It happens sometimes with a book; I knew I enjoyed it but something just felt a little difficult to explain. Thank you to both Chris Parker and Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications for passing on this book that really made me think; it doesn’t happen too often but this one did: enjoy!

Influence kills…Influence is the greatest force on earth. Influence equals power, the power to affect people and events. The most powerful people alive have the greatest influence. And they can use it for good or bad. Marcus Kline is the world’s leading authority on communication and influence. He can tell what you are thinking. He can see inside you. He can step inside your mind. Yet when a series of murder victims bear the horrific hallmarks of an intelligent and remorseless serial killer, Detective Inspector Peter Jones turns to Marcus for help – and everything changes. As the killer sets a deadly pace, the invisible, irresistible and terrifying power of influence threatens friendships, reputations, and lives. When events appear to implicate the great Marcus Kline himself, everyone learns that the worst pain isn’t physical…

If you’re looking for a book that will twist your brains you will love this book. It’s a mind numbing book of mystery, a little of the unexplained, and subtle but incredibly fascinating skills. The book revolves around the idea that there are a few people among us who are born or learn to read body language, facial expressions and other functions of the human body to an almost perfect level of sophistication. It is the subtlest of movements that can be picked up, yet the addressee has no idea that they are being read so closely. I must admit the idea of being able to read someone so easily just by picking up their movement both scared me and interested me. I must admit the detail that the book goes into about this is at times a little overwhelming but the chapters are kept short to allow the reader to breathe and to take in the information easily. The book follows Marcus Kline who has developed this skill to almost perfection. However, when a series of gory murders start to surface it becomes obvious that Kline more to do with it than is being let on. Is he the killer or is a more subtle connection. Can they find the killer before it is too late? You’ll have to read to find out!

I really enjoyed this book; the characters were well built up and although it focused a lot on Peter and Marcus the smaller characters really stood up for themselves as minor characters helping to create contrast and a minor plot lines that weaved between the serial killer plot. I liked how current and modern the book felt especially in the writing style the writer uses; it doesn’t bog down in the description too much meaning the pace is quick which drives the suspense through the roof.  I like the playing with relationships and the perceptions we have with other people; it was a little frightening and unnerving but the concept was solid. Additionally I like the way I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed and even then I was thinking who! It was quite refreshing because sometimes we are pulled in to thinking so many different characters are the killer that we are unable to pin down our own thoughts whilst here I has no idea which meant I HAD to keep reading!

My only big problem was that I detested Marcus Kline; I found him incredibly detestable that it made the book a little unreadable. It’s only my point of view but he seemed like a slightly more annoying version of Robert Downey Jr in the very popular Sherlock Holmes films. The problem is he’s a main character and that made me find the book a little hard to read. He is ultimately uninterested and arrogant which I found slightly tiresome. I have to add the Marcus Kline does have a lot of different characteristics and he is the main part of the story but for me I wish he were a little more understanding but I understand the reasoning behind it.

Overall I really liked this book because it was so different and the concept was something I had never read before.  It was strongly written with a good premise and a real understanding of pace and character build up. Marcus Kline might not be likeable but he sure is intriguing; roll on book two!

Book-cover-Influence-by-Chris-Parker

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