Thursday, 1 September 2016

Review: A Living Grave by Robert E. Dunn

A Living Grave - E. Robert Dunn

A Living Grave by Robert E. Dunn

My Rating:

I received a free copy of A Living Grave from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. I'm also participating in the publicity tour run by the lovely Erin over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book.  If you are interested in following the tour you can do so with the following hashtag: #ALivingGrave

I picked A Living Grave up in the wee small hours of the morning, it's now the wee small hours of the following morning and I haven't been able to put it down for any length of time. I kept being pulled back to it and picking it up every chance I had.

What really stood out in this book for me was the MC Katrina. I totally love her character, she's a smart, strong and feisty female that's not to be messed with but at the same time she's insecure, damaged and hurting on the inside. She's been to hell and back and is fighting to keep hell in her rear-view mirror and forget the demons of her past. She's not just words on a page, she's solid and fleshed out, she feels like a real person and is a character that I will remember many books down the line. All too often in books being a strong female means being portrayed as: a bitch, a man hater, jealous of the power/position a man holds, a damsel in distress with men falling at her feet, gets tons attention because she's pretty and they all secretly want to bed her, or makes a complete turn around and goes against everything she stands for just because she falls in love with a buff supporting male character who knows best... I could go on all day giving examples of overused female stereotypes in fiction. Thankfully, you won't find those cliche stereotypes here! It's very rare to find a good, well written strong female protagonist like Katrina. Bravo Mr Dunn.

I particularly enjoyed the way the story went back and forth, revealing Katrina's history bit by bit. I found myself so wrapped up in her backstory eager to know what was coming next and I'd flip the page to a new chapter only to find myself taken back to the present storyline and cursing in frustration. I wanted to go back, to stay on that one story and learn more. Then before I knew it I found myself totally engrossed in the present, and so forth. This style really drew me in and kept me engaged and eager to read on. I was totally at the mercy of the author's storytelling.

I wasn't a fan of the whole love at first sight thing going on, especially given Katrina's history. I feel that it happened a bit too quickly and easily, it felt out of character but I can see the reasoning behind it, it was needed for the story and drawing it out more would have ruined the pacing and made the book far too long. The dynamics and progression of the relationship was very well written and the feels were all too real at times but I still found myself struggling with how fast things developed between them.

I do feel that I need to point out that the storyline contains the topic of rape, a sensitive subject for some, so please be aware of that beforehand. I really hope there will be more from Katrina in the future, She really appealed to me and is a character that will not be forgotten easily. I feel like I got to know her as I would a real life person and I don't want to lose touch with her.

Definitely one I would recommend.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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A Living Grave, Synopsis

  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Lyrical Underground
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016


Katrina Williams left the Army ten years ago disillusioned and damaged. Now a sheriff’s detective at home in the Missouri Ozarks, Katrina is living her life one case at a time—between mandated therapy sessions—until she learns that she’s a suspect in a military investigation with ties to her painful past.

The disappearance of a local girl is far from the routine distraction, however. Brutally murdered, the girl’s corpse is found by a bootlegger whose information leads Katrina into a tangled web of teenagers, moonshiners, motorcycle clubs, and a fellow veteran battling illness and his own personal demons. Unravelling each thread will take time Katrina might not have, as the Army investigator turns his searchlight on the devastating incident that ended her military career. Now Katrina will need to dig deep for the truth—before she’s found buried…



Robert Dunn was an Army brat born in Alabama and
 finally settled in Nixa, Missouri. A graduate of Drury
College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications/Film he also earned a second major in Philosophy with a minor in Religion and carried an emphasis in Theatre. This course of study left him qualified only to be a televangelist.

An award-winning film/video producer and writer, he has written scripts for or directed every kind of production from local 30-second television commercial spots to documentary productions and travelogues.

A writer of blogs, novels and contributor to various fiction websites his work has also included the book-length prose poem, Uncle Sam, the collection of short stories, Motorman and Other Stories and novels Behind the Darkness and The Red Highway.

Mr Dunn now resides in Kansas City where he continues to write genre fiction and experiment with mixed media art projects using hand drawn and painted elements combined through digital paint and compositing.


Praise for Robert Dunn and A Living Grave

“The Red Highway is not one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year, or that I’ve read in a long time…it’s one of the best books that I’ve ever read! It was an incredible read, one that has so many layers that I was completely enthralled with the story. 5+++ stars!” - 2 Book Lovers Reviews

“This is hardboiled fiction at its best. We're talking Elmore Leonard territory. A fantastic read and I hope there's more to come.”– Hunter Shea, Author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon on A Living Grave

“Dunn's lyrical descriptions of Katrina's inner struggles and demons read almost like poetry as he weaves an intricate and deadly plot of motorcycle gangs, the MOB, cancer survival, and child abuse into a novel so rife with complex feelings and life situations, you are compelled to read it slowly, so you don't miss a nuance of the gut-wrenching emotions he elicits from his characters.” - Peggy Jaeger, Author of The Voices of Angels

“Parts of this book moved me to tears while others made me want to cheer out loud at Katrina's kick-ass-attitude. The twists and turns in the story kept me on the edge of my seat until the entirely satisfying ending. I'm so happy that this is just the start of what promises to be a totally addictive series! I highly recommend this phenomenal 5-star read.” - Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews


Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.  
Media, information and graphics provided by Erin Al-Mehairi from Hook of a Book Media & Publicity

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Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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