Among Prey – Alan Ryker



Character development, character development, character development. What Ryker is able to do in only 65 pages, most authors can’t accomplish in 265 pages. Among Prey is told from multiple character’s POV and you’d think that it would be distracting to the story. Au contraire, it adds richness and depth here, another testament to Ryker’s storytelling prowess.

In Among Prey, we have Amber, a pill-popping worker at a build-a-doll store that meets Bobby, the 7-foot mentally handicapped behemoth that comes in one slow Wednesday morning. Where many people would be terrified at the silent hulking man, Amber takes a shine to him. That is until the day she realizes that the dolls Bobby has been building in her store look amazingly like the little girls that have been kidnapped in the area the past few months. The story wraps around itself nicely as we’re introduced to Carol, Bobby’s caregiving nurse and then Bobby’s POV. This one is a pageturner, folks. The ending may be a bit abrupt for some, but it left me satisfied that I had read a well-crafted thriller. Loved it.

5 Bruised Doll Heads out of 5
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imageSome kind of unknown and useen animal is killing the area ranchers cattle. The sheriff is stumped. Experts from the university have never encountered anything that like it. The ranchers are tired of finding their livelihood dead in the pastures the next morning and are losing patience waiting for someone to provide them answers. Keith is one of them. He’s had his run-ins with the sheriff and the local band of punks. He was considered a loose cannon before he lost his wife. Now, without her calming influence, Keith has turned to alcohol to help him face his demons and get him through his day. On a night half drunk and slumbering on his porch, he’s awakened by a high pitch squeal in his pasture. What he finds, attacking one of his cattle, is pure fury and stinks of the grave.

Burden Kansas is my first read from Ryker and I can’t say enough about it. The characters are perfectly flawed and realistic. The small town rural setting reminds me of the lonliness and tone found in the movie Near Dark. The pacing is excellent. The relationships between the characters are realistic and add wonderful depth and layers to the story. Ryker’s vampires are how they should be – fast, furious, and definitely do not sparkle. Great, great story that has caused me to download more of his work before I was even done with this one.

5 bloody fangs out of 5
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