Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
From the first line, “They’re watching you”, The Eighth Day is off and running and it doesn’t stop. Joseph John immediately gives us a great scene and sets the wheels in motion. Shawn Jaffe is in a café having his morning coffee and a stranger says to him “They’re watching you”. Shawn does a double take and thinks this guys is a nut job. This is followed by the stranger telling him “Nothing you know is real, your name isn’t Shawn Jaffe, you’re not an investment broker and you’re not from Ohio”. At this point Shawn is convinced the guy is out of his mind and this sets off a chain of events like tipping over a domino. The stranger sees a man in a dark suit and runs out of the café through the back door. Shawn decides to go after him to find out what he meant but finds him dead in the back alley. Now Shawn’s day has really gone south in a hurry.
Detective Harrington is assigned to the case and meets up with Shawn shortly after to get his statement. They investigate the back alley for some clues and find a man in a dark suit climbing in a van. They sprint to the end of the alley and the van almost hits Harrington but Shawn manages to shove him aside at the last second. The story moving along at a great pace and the mystery of these men in black is excellent. The men are after Shawn and need Harrington out of the way, but why? They almost succeed in killing Harrington on more than one occasion and decide to ‘active’ Jaffe for some yet unknown reason. In just a few chapters Joseph has set up so many events and crafted such a great mystery I was fully engrossed in the story. The next day Jaffe is missing, his police detail is missing, his office at Lark Morton is empty and Harrington finds a blue print of Madison Square Garden on Jaffe’s smartphone. Suddenly the mystery is increased tenfold as Harrington struggles to find Shawn and figure out who he is and what the heck is going on.
I had the pleasure of beta reading The Eighth Day in one chapter installments from Joseph John. A significant time later as I’m reading it again in its final form I love this story even more. The story is so well put together and it’s great to see the changes and tweaks done to the finished version. The characters are easy to connect with and the book is a fast paced read. The details of the story start to fall in place like a completed puzzle. After a grueling chase to catch Shawn at the garden Harrington is left with more questions than answers. Fast forward to three years later and we find Shawn in Texas and more confused than when we first met him. We now know what Shawn’s role is in the story and why his memory is unreliable. We also learn who the men in black are, a group called the Project Phoenix and why they are after Shawn also known as Echo-7. Shawn is on the run and the only person he can trust is back in New York so he sets off to find Harrington. Joseph has taken the story full circle as Jaffe and Harrington are back together. So many missing pieces are filled in as to what The Phoenix Project is, why Jaffe had the blue prints of the Garden and why the stranger told him “they’re watching you”. The Eighth Day is a great action filled thriller filled with conspiracy and characters I loved spending time with.
Length: 250 Pages
Publisher: Obsidian Dawn
Release date: March 31, 2016
A warning from a stranger.
“Nothing you know is real. Your name isn’t Shawn Jaffe, you’re not an investment broker, and you’re not from Ohio.”
But the stranger is murdered before he can explain.
Now Shawn isn’t sure who he can trust.
Even his own memories are suspect.
Someone is watching him, controlling him, using him.
To survive, he’ll need to find out who and why.
But the stakes are much higher than one man.
Our humanity is on the line, and on the eighth day, it could be the beginning of the end.
Joseph John, biography
I took on this mortal coil in 1976 in Omaha, NE. As an only child, my parents were able to devote their existences to catering to my every whim. My Mom started by reading the newspaper to me, ensuring I was up to speed on current events. Once I had outgrown the newspaper, she moved on to Golden Books. I read my first novel, Cujo, in the third grade. It hooked me, and I took to main-lining novels and working the libraries like an eight-year-old junky looking to score his next fix. I’ve been an avid reader ever since, throwing my lot with Frank and Joe Hardy, the three investigators, and much later, Roland Deschain and his ka-tet.
I somehow fooled Uncle Sam into believing I’d one day make a great leader of men, and he promptly shipped me off to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, where I languished in a turmoil of emotions that ranged from apathy to not giving a damn. This lent me to writing angst-filled poetry and short stories when I should have been paying attention in class or studying in the barracks, thereby resulting in the refinement of my craft and lending credence to that familiar idiom–you know, silver linings and all that.
In 1998, I graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in Army Aviation. I attended flight school in Alabama, where I learned to wear cool shades and a leather jacket, and something about helicopters. Forgive me. It was some years ago, and my memory is fading faster than a cheap tattoo.
In 2013, I decided to hang up my cool shades and leather jacket and don a pocket protector and masking-tape-repaired glasses, transitioning from Army Aviation to Operations Research and Systems Analysis. I’d spent the last fifteen years refining my skills and building a solid foundation of knowledge, so I figured what better time than the twilight of my career to throw all that out the window and start from scratch in an entirely new field.
Now I’m serving a hardship tour of duty in Italy, where I spend my evenings sipping wine and riding in gondolas.
So how does the rest of my story go? I’ll tell you when I get there; it’s still a work in progress.