Preordained is a supernatural mystery thriller about a cop in Murrell’s Inlet, SC who’s seeking to solve a serial murder case that has biblical undertones.
Operating under his self-appointed moniker, the Star of David Killer taunts lead detective Art Somers, the Georgetown County Sherriff’s Office, and the FBI, who are all attempting to solve the serial case. In the killer’s mind, his father preordained the abductions and murders. They are his way of fulfilling prophecy.
Detective Art Somers has never given much credence to the local superstitious or religious beliefs in his county, but while working to solve the case, he starts to have paranormal visions that compel him to question his own sanity. It’s as if something or someone in the spirit world is attempting to communicate with him.
His partner and love interest, detective Angela Hunter, sees things differently. She believes deeply in the supernatural, just like many in their county. As unexplained paranormal events and missing timeframes invade Art’s life, Angela helps him deal with the unthinkable reality that the serial killer they’re looking for could be Art himself.
Who’s the killer? Art? Someone else? Join Art and Angela in this mind-bending whodunit and uncover an irrefutable truth that neither of them wanted to face.
“A riveting and intriguing read.” - Clarion Review
“A gripping detective story.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Original and engaging.” - Publisher’s Weekly
Read an Excerpt
From his crouched position in the woods of rural Georgetown County, South Carolina, and under the echo of his heavy breathing in the night air, he watched his favorite family's movements inside their small brown home.
After much thought about the impression his outfit would make, he'd decided it was festive enough for the occasion. The complete ensemble consisted of a red and black head mask, aligned perfectly to the holes for his eyes, nose, and mouth and a form-fitting, black bodysuit with white wings painted on the back.
For years, he'd contemplated a befitting name for himself and finally settled on Star of David killer. He liked the way the alias reverberated in his head. It revealed a lot. It concealed everything. It hinted at his purpose and yet – it withheld the true essence of his aspirations, keeping them covered in a shroud of secrecy. He hoped an insightful reporter would have an epiphany and bestow that nickname on him. It was far more interesting than the one his parents had given him at birth. He breathed deep and exhaled slowly, taking in the ambience of the moment. He flexed his muscles. It was time to initiate the events that would lead everyone to recognize him by his self-appointed moniker.
He clenched and released his toes on each of his hospital footie–covered feet. Through the sheer curtains of the dimly lit dwelling, he watched the boy pick up the used plates from the table, which signaled the parents and their twelve-year-old son had finished their dinner. He knew them well. He'd cased their dwelling for years, observing every nuance of their behavior. He sat flushed as he watched them for the last time, shivering from time to time from the thrill of the thought of what he was about to do.
The music of the bullfrogs kept him company, along with the thought that all he'd longed for, all that he was meant to be, was about to be on full display on the world stage in a matter of hours. Like Heinz ketchup, he'd been waiting in anticipation for a long time for this moment.
He glanced at the scavengers in the clear sky above him, each casting its shadow across the moon as it circled. They were his favorite creatures — the redheaded, black-feathered, and partially white-winged turkey vultures of the Carolina skies. His outfit mimicked theirs. The birds squawked in the sky, seeming to know his plan for that evening. They'd followed his vehicle from his home until he'd parked, and now they circled directly above him. He could feel their hunger and impatience.
The boy walked outside his home and scraped the remains of their dinner plates into a slop bucket on the back porch. He picked up the hog's food and headed out to the pigpen, which was located near the backend of their yard.
The Star of David killer watched the boy make his evening trek on pigeon-toed feet that turned inward with each step. Ever since the infant pigs were born, the boy fed the adult male hog an extra feeding at night to prevent him from dining on his offspring. That's right, the daddy hog actually ate his own children. What a disgusting breed of animal.
The overhead undertakers began to shriek and shrill as the boy moved across his lawn, their voices echoing in the night.
The boy jumped at their sound and looked to the skies. He stared into the woods directly below them.
The Star of David killer remained as still as a stone as the kid's gaze seemed to linger on him for a moment. The last thing he needed was for the boy to detect his presence and yell out for his daddy. The papa of the family had an itchy twelve-gauge finger that he didn't want to deal with that evening.
Seemingly satisfied, the boy stopped searching the woods and continued his walk.
The Star of David Killer glanced overhead at the vultures, angry with them for almost giving away his position. For their carelessness, they wouldn't be feeding on his handiwork that evening, and if they didn't atone for their misstep, they wouldn't partake in any of the festivities on his planned itinerary.
This was the first night — the evening of his coming-out party and the kickoff of his personal pilgrimage. It was the acknowledgment that the presence within him, who had compelled him to plan and now execute the initial steps of his mission, had chosen the right vehicle for the job.
He felt something biting him on his lower legs. Glancing down, he saw by the light of the rear porch that ants were advancing up his calves. He remained silent and didn't move, not wanting to sound the alarm that he was out there in the dark. A small green garden snake slithered out of the brush toward him. He stepped on it and crushed its head.
The grunting male hog reveled in the slop the boy had dumped into his pen. The female hog stood to the side with her five remaining piglets cowering under her.
The killer frowned at the stench of the hogs. It wasn't the last smell he wanted on his mind before he began his body of work. To get past it, he closed his eyes and thought of the fragrances inside the boy's family home, smells that he knew all too well. He'd spent many nights there while they slept, enjoying their scents, with his favorites being the individual smell of each of their worn clothing. The laundry room was a treasure trove of delights. Each of the family members left their own unique and enjoyable stains in their underwear. He'd gotten to know the other families in just as much detail, meticulously taking in their routines and schedules, getting to know every nuance of each of them.
He removed his blade from his waistband and watched Rueben, his first victim, as he rinsed out the slop bucket with a water hose attached to the rear of his home. He squeezed the black-handled blade. The paring knife felt perfect in his hand, after having gone through an exhaustive testing process to find the right cutting instrument — one with just the right shape and size for optimal carving control against a moving body. He'd practiced his skills with it for many hours, initially on cantaloupes, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables, until he'd graduated to successful tests on small gerbils, kittens, and puppies he'd purchased at various pet stores.
Finally, the lights went out in the shack. It was time. As usual, Rueben's parents were more than likely already fast asleep. Rueben, on the other hand, should be wide-awake in his darkened room, surfing Internet porn sites by the light of his laptop. The little fella loved to look at online pussy, but he wouldn't live long enough to enjoy any.
As the final step of his preparation process, he extracted a bottle of removable glue from the front waistband of his outfit and placed another coat over his hands. It was an additional layer to guard against him leaving fingerprints behind, but he knew he didn't need to worry on that score. Over the past year, he'd used razor blades every month to remove the top layer of skin on each of his fingertips, making them as smooth as a baby's ass.
He had no fingerprints.
He could've easily used gloves, but he wanted to touch them, to feel his prey with his bare hands. He blew on the glue until it dried. Satisfied, he stood, stretched his legs and approached Rueben's home on silent feet.
He hadn't troubled himself to brush the ants from his lower torso. The stinging sensation of their bites would serve as a reminder that before that evening, he was once human.CHAPTER 2
In the quaint, historic city of Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina, at the onset of a torrential downpour, thirty-five-year-old detective Art Somers rolled up the driver's side window of his blue, classic Camaro and turned on his wipers. He took inventory of himself in his rearview mirror: his black mane of shoulder-length hair that offset his olive skin, the shadow of a beard that now graced his face, and more troubling, his bloodshot eyes. He hadn't slept much lately and it showed. How much longer was it going to take the FBI boys to capture the serial nutcase operating in their midst?
Within a span of twenty-one days, someone had kidnapped and slaughtered multiple twelve-year-old boys in his county and eluded all capture efforts. He gripped his steering wheel tighter. The only good news, if you could call it that, was that the bastard hadn't struck in Murrell's Inlet.
He stared at his former neighbor's sons, who were playing a game of pickup football on the dirt field to his left. One of those boys — or even his own son, Ben — could be the killer's next target if Murrell's Inlet became his next city of choice. He breathed deep. Not even the fishy fragrance of the nearby Atlantic waters he loved so much, did anything to improve his frame of mind.
A cluster of lightning bolts illuminated the darkened, cloud-filled morning sky, followed immediately by booming thunder that echoed in the distance. Overhead, seagulls darted away as the winds picked up.
Every locale within his county was on edge because the killer only struck within the confines of Georgetown County and always in a different city. For all he knew, his town could be next. He reached over to his front passenger seat and rested his palm on the printout of the FBI serial profiling article. Under captain's orders, every detective in the station house had spent the past two weeks boning up on the behavior patterns of serial killers.
He flexed the muscles in his arms and looked at his Navy SEAL tattoos. He had no clue what to do if that sick bastard showed up in Murrell's Inlet. He was too new at being a detective and some were questioning why the captain had promoted him in the first place. Following up on an obscure lead, he'd taken the initiative and pursued and captured a couple of long-sought backwater drug dealers, a feat that catapulted him from the rank and file into the role he now held. Another contributing factor for his promotion could've been that his captain was also a former Navy SEAL. Reading the FBI profiling article hadn't made him feel any better. He hoped he'd never cross paths with the sick freak.
He wheeled his Camaro into the driveway of his former home, a light green, two-story, southern vernacular. It had a pool in the backyard that he'd put in himself. He sat behind the wheel for a moment under the overhanging branches of the angel hair oak tree his ex-wife had planted long ago in honor of their son Ben's birth.
He ran his hands through his long, wavy hair and climbed out, wearing worn, faded jeans and a burgundy T-shirt that worked well with his muscular, tanned frame. The rain soaked him as he jogged through the piles of wet leaves that covered the lawn. He stepped onto the covered porch and was about to knock when Judith, his ex-wife, swung the door open.
His son, Ben, with dark hair and piercing, dark eyes just like his, dressed in his white baseball uniform with burgundy letters that read Gamecocks, dashed by him toward the car carrying his cell phone. "Hey, Dad."
"Whoa. Hey, Sport. If this rain doesn't break, they may cancel the game."
"Let's go," Ben said and climbed into the front passenger seat.
Judith stood in the doorway in a revealing pink nightie. She was breathing heavily, as though she'd just finished a vigorous workout. She was thirty-four, with shoulder-length blond hair and enough sexual energy to raise the dead. "It's about time you showed up. Benjamin is being disrespectful to my guest."
"A killer who's randomly taking boys our son's age is kind of a priority, don't you think?"
"You don't even know if he'll come this way," Judith said.
"A good scout is always prepared."
"Maybe you should prepare by going to church sometimes and praying about it."
"I'll pretend that church means something to you, just as soon as you stop placing hairs of your enemies in those jars of yours."
A young black man with a shaved head and chiseled body — and more than likely the source of Judith's workout — joined her at the door. He expanded his chest and stood straight at the sight of Art.
Art shook his head. Yet another boy-toy around his son. "You think Ben's disrespect has something to do with your choice of guests?" He frowned. "Let him come live with me."
She stared at him. "I told you, I need the child support — and I'd miss him."
"Two years of monthly child support checks — even if he's with me."
There was a moment of silence as Judith seemed to consider his offer. She glanced at her boy-toy, whose arm now rested across her shoulder. "We'll be back from vacation soon."
"Think about my offer."
She kissed her boy-toy deeply, pursed her lips at Art, and then slammed the door in his face.
"Bitch," he said under his breath to the closed door. What in hell had he been thinking having unprotected sex with her? He strode back to his car, climbed in, and screeched his tires as he backed out of the driveway. He turned on his windshield wipers and tore off down the wet street. He glanced at his son, who was watching him. He slowed to the posted speed limit.
Ben tossed the FBI serial profiling article in his lap onto the backseat. He pulled his cell phone out of his front pocket and pressed buttons. He rocked his head back and forth to his music selection. "What were you and Mom talking about?"
Art glanced at Ben. "Life, son — things you deal with in life."
"Mom said call him 'Dad.'"
Art pressed the brake pedal, coming to a complete stopped in the middle of the street. He stared at his son. "Who?"
"Her new boyfriend, Clarence."
Art tensed. He pressed the gas and proceeded down the road. "I'm your father."
"I know, Dad."
They rode on in silence. His son's words had cut deep.CHAPTER 3
With the heavy rain and bad weather behind them, an unusually bright and hot October sun beamed down on Art, the baseball players, and the fans. He stood in front of his team's dugout, now dressed in his coach's uniform. His attention drifted away from his son in the batter's box, to the parents and spectators who filled the overflowing bleachers.
A large banner hung over the visiting dugout: 'In Honor of Odo Atkins.' Odo's parents sat on the upper deck under another sign commemorating their son, who'd been a member of the opposing team. Unfortunately, Odo was the latest victim of the serial killer.
Art squinted in the sunlight and continued to study the spectators. He sought new faces in the crowd — ones he'd never noticed before at any of their games. His serial-profiling research suggested that some killers got off on watching the reaction of their handiwork on the love ones of their victims. The killer could be there watching Odo's parents but try as he might, he didn't spot anyone who seemed out of place. He returned his attention to the game.
Ben took his most menacing stance at home plate and glared at the pitcher. He moved his bat in a circular motion above his head.
Ben's best friend, thirteen-year-old Scott Kennedy Jr., with blond hair and blue eyes, yelled out to him from third base. "Come on, Ben."
Art cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled above the crowd of spectators, some of whom now stood, clapping and stomping their feet in the stands. "Remember, son — keep your eye on the ball."
Art heard a familiar laugh behind him and glanced over his shoulder at twenty-nine-year-old Angela Hunter. She looked irresistibly captivating — tanned and brunette, dressed in a white summer blouse and khaki shorts that revealed her slim, well-toned body. She stood close to Art's silver-haired maternal grandmother, Sarah Somers. Eighty-five-year-old Sarah sat slouched on the corner of the lowest row of bleachers.
Angela waved and blew him a kiss.
Art smiled and nodded back, loving the way her full, round, emerald-green eyes lingered on him — eyes that had instantly made him want to get to know her better when they first met. Something about her got to him. They had whatever it was that drew people together and then some. He listened to her lively discussion with his grandmother about their favorite topic those days: him.
"When are you going to make my grandson an honest man?" Sarah asked.
"Grandma Sarah," Angela said.
"You're the right age. You need to have children."
"I have a career," Angela said.
"He should never have married that girl. She broke his heart. You don't want him, now that he's damaged goods?"
"I'm trying," Angela said.
Art smiled at his grandmother. "All right, Grandma. Stop playing matchmaker and watch your great-grandson take his turn at bat."
Ben stepped out of the batter's box and wiped away sweat that dripped into his eyes from his forehead. He raised each foot and used his bat to knock the dirt out of the cleats of his baseball shoes. He stepped back into the batter's box and dug in.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Preordained"
Copyright © 2017 David L. Wallace.
Excerpted by permission of David L. Wallace.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Preordained, author David L. Wallace weaves a riveting paranormal/supernatural crime mystery tale that follows Georgetown County S.C. Sheriff's Office Detective Art Somers as he investigates and tracks down a serial killer called the Star of David Killer, who has been kidnapping and murdering twelve-year-old boys throughout the county. Author David L. Wallace provides a complex and multi-layered storyline that interweaves a gritty crime murder mystery with a supernatural/paranormal twist and biblical references in a classic battle of good versus evil. This fascinating tale has enough mystery, suspense, drama, treachery, secrets, and intriguing twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing while weaving an intricate and complicated web of what the motive of the murders could have been, and how Detective Art Somers' troubled past is tied to the murders. Preordained is an exciting crime murder mystery story that will keep the reader guessing the identity of the Star of David Killer, while the supernatural/paranormal twists and biblical references enhances the intrigue and engages the reader to follow Detective Somers as he tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together and solve the serial killer case before the number of murdered twelve-year-old boys increase, including his own son! This story has rich descriptions of the South Carolina Lowcountry setting; a realistic cast of characters; and a fascinating intertwining of police investigative techniques and supernatural twists that immediately draws the reader in until the pieces of the murder investigations puzzle comes together and is solved. Preordained is the kind of supernatural crime murder mystery that easily keeps the reader captivated, guessing, on their toes, and wanting more!
Art Somers is the sheriff in Murrell’s Inlet, SC that has his hands full with a serial killer that calls himself the Star of David. The killer targets 12 year-old boys and believes that his father has preordained the abductions and murders and is fulfilling a prophecy. Art himself has a 12 year-old boy and worries that he may be a target. There is way more than just a serial killer in the works. This is going to be a battle between good and evil. Art doesn’t really believe in the local religious beliefs but is about to have his eyes opened quickly. But he does have his hands full with an ex-wife with a ton of drama and his partner/girl-friend that has a drug addiction. Of course he wants to stop the killer but it seems the killer is taunting all branches of law enforcement that are trying to catch him. I have mixed opinions on this book. If you step back and just read the book, I liked the plot line of the story. It has a brutal killer, God and the Devil, and enough side plots to keep the story entertaining. But there is so much to this book that contradicts the story. Art can’t eat any kind of red sauce yet is fed shrimp cocktail? Art is proud of the fact that he has stuck with Angela despite her drug addiction and the fact that she is a fellow officer? This story felt like a rough draft. With some revisions and editing and checking the continuity I think the story has a lot of potential, otherwise it falls flat. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Such High Hopes Living just an hour and a half from the small town of Murrell's Inlet, S.C., I was excited to read Preordained by David L Wallace. This story that takes place just outside my back door is about a serial killer, who tortures and kills 12-year-old boys, and is targeting the son of the detective who is tracking him. A storyline, with much promise. If only greater attention had been paid to detail and editing, this could have been a great book to read. Trying not to be a spoiler, but the reason the lead character and his son's mother split up had to do with how she made spaghetti sauce. It is my opinion that since it was the reason for the breakup, of course, he's not going to eat anything made with "her red sauce" again. In fact, since she's his ex, why would he be eating anything she cooks? Another confusing scenario was "She'd helped her boyfriend overcome an addition problem and eventually married the guy. He now had her working the local hotels to support his addiction." First, maybe she should have used a calculator to help him with the "addition" problem. Second, why is she working to support his addiction if she helped him get over it? Then, there's this confusing statement, "There's there are internet companies the street thugs around here use to get stolen identity cards." Although I really wanted to like this book, typos and confusing details like these make this a difficult book to enjoy. With its originality and intriguing mixture of supernatural and suspense, this could be a great book. I implore the author to make revisions and invest in an editor. You have potential and guidance may help you reach it.
I just finished “Preordained” by David L. Wallace. I think I need some milk and cookies and watch some Disney cartoons before going to sleep. Ha! That ending, although we all know it needs to go down that way, is intense and crazy sad. But good. Read it and you will see what I mean. I’ve read other books by Wallace, and in his other books as well, I was impressed not only with his narrative skills, but combined with a vivid imagination, a profound exploration of other ‘possibilities’, … and you have a truly unforgettable book that surpassed my expectations. While I found this to be a little erratic in terms of pacing and overall tightness of prose, I never felt myself wandering away from the story, but was completely invested all the way through, which says something. The character development was fantastic and detailed, and I appreciate the well-roundedness of the players – and we see their strengths and weaknesses throughout. I like how even though there are a lot of characters here (which can admittedly feel a little overwhelming at times) we can focus mostly on the main ones of Art, Angie, Ben, Corey, and a few others, and how they all bring their own ‘world’ to the story line. It is interesting to see how it is all connected and comes together in the end, which held some surprises that I did not see coming. It is on the darker side (literally) But it does pack an emotional and intellectual punch and has a whole lot of story in these pages. Explores some pretty deep concepts that are fun to think about and interesting to read, one I wholeheartedly enjoyed and will like to read more from Mr. Wallace in the future. 4 1/2 stars
4.5 stars Although not my normal cup of tea, “Preordained” from David L. Wallace delivered nicely on all the things I like in a book – great writing, vivid, atmospheric scenery that transports me from my own reality and to another time and place, characters I can relate to on some level, and plots that are complex enough to challenge me and make me think and be surprised, but not so convoluted so that I need to be taking notes as I go along. This is a deep novel, one that is driven by the characters and drama and ideas and the ‘spiritual-supernatural’ influences, not just the standard ‘hunting a serial killer’ action. This book is hard to describe…but it was deeply emotional and multi-layered, with complexity of themes that made it a rich and rewarding reading experience. Rarely do I get swept away in a book like this where it feels like every page is something that affects me on some level, whether just enjoying the lovely prose, or worrying about the characters, or laughing at something they said, or being spooked or relieved. Normally I tend to prefer more ‘down to earth’ fiction, or even romance in my books, but this one was very engaging and forces you to think all while being entertained. (and maybe holding your Bible nearby). Loved it
"Preordained” really struck me as unique due to the depth of the plot and the fact that even for a paranormal/thriller the rules seemed to go out the window a few times and really threw me for a loop (no spoilers). David Wallace’s writing is very strong and the plot is compelling and complex enough to really keep our interest – which is honestly saying a lot considering I get bored reading most books these days. This one just flows so much smoother and faster and keeps getting better – and more bizarre--- as it goes along. There are a few issues I had with how a few characters were portrayed. I understand people are human and flawed, but some of the personalities diminished the story quality I think, because they bring Art down due to their connection to him (I’m mainly referring to his ex and his fiancé). The fact that these are the types of women he is drawn to makes him look unappealing – not exactly a ‘hero’ we look up to and root for. Sorry if this is harsh, but it’s true. And honestly I never felt the deep connection between him and Ben that I’d want to for a father/son, and thus the ending didn’t have the impact I would have liked. But it was still a very interesting experience and I could always picture everyone and everything perfectly. Thought it was cool how sinister and spiritual the story became, and it does crawl under your skin and get in your head. Overall I’d recommend this book for being the entertaining and unique thrill ride it is.
I’ve read a few books by David Wallace now, and while the others were quite good, this one blew my mind! I almost feel like I just read 5 different books instead of just one – So much happens, it would be impossible to sum up (I don’t do that anyways). But based on just the description, (which I thought was a little vague), it sounded like something that I’d be interested in. I enjoyed “Seven” and “The Devil’s Advocate”, and I’ve been visiting that area of South Carolina since I was a youth so it’s fun to read about in a book. In a way it follows the standard formula of detective-chasing down unknown killer and things get personal—a fairly common trope in crime fiction (hey it works). But what I liked here was that Wallace threw in a whole mess of other *crazy* ingredients in to the pot, so to speak, and created something wickedly delightful. Art is in over his head trying to track down the “Star of David” killer as he calls himself, and by the end of it all he could only WISH that it was just some ordinary crazy person killing people. But instead it’s on a biblical scale and hell comes to life in a big, twisted way. Some really creative twists I didn’t see coming (especially at the end) that I thought was cool and interesting insights that show that Wallace has done his research on several topics, ranging from the religious to the pathological. Cool mishmash of story genres paranormal/ occult/ thriller/ murder mysteries/ drama … even romance. Anyone can write a book, but not everyone can tell a story, and Wallace’s are some of the more entertaining and thought provoking I’ve read. Recommend. Note: I reviewed and ARC of this book
"Preordained” is an incredible, jaw-dropping book that introduces us to the unique world of author David L. Wallace, and what a crazy, treacherous world it is! It is imaginative and pulls no punches in drawing from almost every available literary element available. This is a rare novel that I thought had almost everything from stopping evil (tracking serial killer), relationships (romantic and professional), familial/(twisted) ancestral connections (with the boys and Ben), high-stakes action, suspense, intellect…philosophical conversations and religious/spiritual and even supernatural elements. It’s hard not to find something you like. There are surprises revealed throughout, and nothing is predictable or what you think will happen. Kept me turning the pages late into the night! One thing I’ll say is that I was impressed with how easy it was to sink into this world and stay there… I never wanted to stop reading, even when I had to. The pace is very fast and I like the tempo pf the shorter chapters. Mr. Wallace’s writing style is very natural and easy to read and I’m looking forward to reading more from him someday. Highly recommend!! (ages 18+)
4.5 stars Usually I tend to lean towards romance or literary novels, but I was in the mood for something a little different. Ok, a LOT different. So even though satanic serial killers and devil spawns isn’t really my thing I decided to give “Preordained” a shot because I have read a few of David Wallace’s books in the past and know that the man can tell a darn good tale. Well, I can definitely say that a lot of people will totally enjoy this book! Yes, the creep and freak factor is sky high, and it is horrifying and unnerving – but all in a good way. Some scenes are tough to read – as this is about the murders of young boys, and the MC in on the scenes, Wallace is never titillating or gratuitous – it fits well with the whole vibe (as dark and evil as it is). But it’s not ALL doom and gloom, there are some ‘fun’ moments as well, as well as some emotional ones (usually with his son or fiancé or family). I think that Art is interesting and likable. We get a decent sense of who they are without their ‘personalities’ or ‘personal drama’ overshadowing the storyline. It takes some time to build, but we finally see what is going on in this strange world of theirs, and why things are happening… and who is behind it all... There are a lot of philosophical almost existential ideas I especially like the intelligent, spiritual feel that gives this story an edge over many I’ve read lately. Has an interesting take on religious motifs. And some great action and solid, passionate writing!! I enjoyed this much more than expected and would recommend to others as well. Will definitely read more from David Wallace in the future.
Preordained to me was like a storm, slowly gathering momentum with each passing chapter and maturing in no time into a series of unpredictable revelations and thrills. Easily quenching thirst, satisfying beyond expectation. More than just words, a profound masterpiece. I enjoyed every bit of it.
I enjoyed “Preordained” by author David L. Wallace, even though thrillers and suspense isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I liked the opening sample and the style of Mr. Wallace’s writing…. This felt more like a unique character-drama (under very strange circumstances) to me than anything, so I gave it a shot. I was really impressed! I really liked the interesting world he created here – familiar and with relatable themes and concepts, yet still very unique. There is a serial killer who is kidnapping and killing 12-year-old boys in a South Carolina county – which at first seems oddly specific, but when you get further in you will see why it is. It is a mystery, thriller, suspense and a heavy dose of supernatural with intense character drama… it sounds confusing, but the way the book is written it makes sense… very easy to grasp the complex ideas that David puts forth and the premise and shocking ‘reveals’ and the conclusion really works. But there were definitely some things that bothered me, and in a way it made me think that this version hadn’t been properly edited and I know it is an ARC, so maybe these issues will be addressed. But it seemed extremely odd to me the parents’ cavalier attitude when there is a freakin’ SERIAL KILLER on the loose nearby who had killed ‘multiple’ kids in 21 days, which is absolutely nuts--- the whole nation would be freaking out! But people seem to just take it in stride, and even the mom says something like “You don’t even know if he’ll come here” when the dad mentions concern. Mom acts like he’s blowing out of proportion. Like WHAT?! If I had a 12-year-old boy and that is what was being targeted for a serial killer in my county—or even my state… even my side of the continent…. he would not be out of my sight for a single second!!! Yet the son is just left to be on his own, so yup of course he gets snatched. There were a few other plot points like this that irked me, but the reason ‘why’ behind all the activity was very cool and trippy and I liked how it played out. The characters are good for the most part, but I’m sorry, Angela is utterly ridiculous. She should honestly be in an institution and the other characters’ reactions to her behaviors (especially Art) make them look just as crazy. But the narrative is really good, very descriptive and with perfect flow. Fast paced short chapters keep you reading on. I certainly surprised at several things that happened, and really never knew where the story was headed. Overall it is quite emotionally engaging and with lots of creepy and creative storylines and great action especially towards the end. An entertaining journey that also makes you think outside the box from your typical thriller/suspense.
3.5 stars this book was pretty good overall…very entertaining, despite the fact that I did have to suspend belief at times in order to enjoy the story. I know this is a fiction novel and there are parts to it that defy belief by design—and I’m cool with that. I’ll believe in the devil as long as you sell it right. The only problem I had was when the world-building and characters didn’t feel believable. Ben’s mother (Art’s ex) is a caricature of the ‘psycho ex shrew’, the current fiancé is extremely mentally unstable (yet works as a detective) – the simple fact that there were several gruesome murders of little boys in just 3 weeks’ time in a relatively small geographic region would gain major national attention and publicity. It’s almost like the Internet doesn’t exist in this book or something. And even from the beginning Art speculates that the killer may strike his town next and that his own son could be a target, but clearly not enough is done to protect him. There were some other plot points I had some questions about, but there were also a lot of good things here too… Some VERY Interesting characters (like Corey) and I did appreciate the unexpected connections with the plotlines, and the reasoning behind what exactly was going on… it has a solid mix of creepy drama, gruesome horror, spine-tingling action, and supernatural entities that are familiar in lore and religions. I liked that it was so descriptive that we can really put ourselves inside the different characters’ perspectives because it is written in 3rd person, but mostly Art is the central figure. Really good narrative prose and the dialogue and conversations with the characters were very authentic. You can’t fake that in my opinion. This book has a few familiar themes and architypes we’ve encountered before, but it is one that will make you think about things differently, and had such a readable storyline about something that could easily be very complicated or completely unbelievable. But I liked the plot development - was really shocked at a few things and was engaged until the end… which was perfect. Freaky and awesome and fitting. Even though quite sad. Recommend for fans who want an unpredictable, yet engaging supernatural thriller. Looking forward to reading more from David L. Wallace!
creatively complex, frightening and well- crafted with a nice blend of supernatural horror and gritty rawness, “Preordained” by David L. Wallace is a great book for fans of crime drama (serial killers); mystery and suspense, and a dash of the devil…haha.. It is an interesting blend of different literary elements, from religious history to criminal profiling, and creative ‘paranormal’ worldbuilding and very unique characters, human and non. This novel holds its own with the solid world building and plot structure, and an interesting cast characters and plenty of intrigue, Half the fun in reading this book is trying to figure out exactly what is going on… who (or what) is taking and killing these young boys, and why… which turns out to be the big crux of this book. Who the players are, what it all means. But there were some times where I felt it could have used some trimming down, as while the overall plot and story was pretty awesome (I give it 5 stars) there were frequent places where there was needless information, dialogue, or too much telling narrative (instead of showing us through conversations and action), and some scenes just don’t make sense, or contradict an earlier scene (the RED cocktail sauce was a glaring error right off the bat). However, despite some flaws I feel Mr. Wallace did a splendid job of bringing in a unique voice and making the story wholly his own, and giving it a fresh feel. I felt like I’d never read anything like it before which is pretty impressive and rare. Interesting plot development and a motley cast of characters to take you along for this surreal journey. Recommend for mature readers only.
"Preordained” by David L. Wallace is the third book I’ve read by this author, and I like how good they all have been, and each quite different! This one is quite a departure from his last book I read (an adorable children’s book), but memorable and powerful and seriously mind-bending at times. I almost couldn’t sleep after that ending!! This world and characters Wallace creates here is impressively conceived, and I was definitely pleased with the level of character development throughout, especially with Art and his ‘awakening’. He may have started off as an atheist but he’s a believer now! LOL. The plotlines are complex and well thought out, and weird enough to keep you hooked and wondering what is really going on. There are several big reveals that continue to shift the dynamic of the storyline in unexpected ways, something that even a jaded reader like myself can fully appreciate and still be surprised by. This is great because nothing I hate more than predictable clichés. I would also like to commend the level of creativity and I loved the cover. As this is an ARC I do not comment on final editing, but the overall storyline is top notch. Should be a movie, IMO. This book has a much more darker tone than I was expecting, but I think that works well here. And I like that we are able to figure out what the title means. Very cool. Looking forward to more great stories from David Wallace and will be recommending to my friends. Adults only.
4.5 stars I read a lot of thriller/ suspense, and even paranormal/fantasy books, so this book fits nicely into a genre I’m familiar with. I’d never read anything from David L. Wallace before other than a Children’s book last year, but the description seemed interesting (“Seven” and “Devil’s Advocate” are among my favorite movies) and I was super intrigued with that first paragraph alone…I’m always on the lookout for amazing books, so I was curious to see how he would deliver in this novel “Preordained”. By the end of the first chapter I knew I’d be hooked. While it’s not perfect, Mr. Wallace is unarguably a talented writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his creation of this world where crime and the supernatural, religion and history (and tech to an extent) all come together to create a new type of suspense and thriller novel that is as entertaining as it is frightening. There are some content and execution issues that may put off more discriminating readers, but I try to overlook that for the sake of ‘story’ – which was terrific. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is mildly felt here as well), Wallace was still able to cast this story-world in a new light to give it a very unique feel – a blend of drama, suspense, mystery, action and supernatural (evil) entities, good vs. evil (on an epic scale), strong character transformation, etc etc, and make it unlike anything I’ve read. Even has a spiritual vibe -----religious elements and history/lore but this is not a ‘religious’ book’. For such a long book I finished it in less than two nights, and even though I thought there could be some content editing that would help it more, by the end there were so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I thought the ending was perfect. This is a standalone book, not part of a series. I recommend it for very mature teens on up because of some perhaps ‘adultish’ scenes, but they work well with the storyline and do not feel gratuitous.