Book of the Day



By Scott J. Holliday

Thomas & Mercer
ISBN 978-1503949058
Publication Date:  February 1, 2018


Review by E.J. Boyd

Let the punishment BE the crime…

Punishment is the first in a new detective series by Scott J. Holliday featuring Detective John Barnes.  In this techno-thriller, there is a machine that can transpose the memories of one person to another – including the memories of the dead. The memories are not just what the person saw–they don’t play like a movie–they are complete memories, including all the senses and what the person felt (fear, excitement, pleasure, pain, etc.).  This is not a passive experience but one that seriously affects the person that has taken them on, they do not wear off.  Like a real experience, they remain within the person’s psyche.  There is a commercial side to this new technology. Celebrities and prostitutes can sell their experiences and this has created “munkey’s”, the new addicts that cannot get enough. There is the practical side, where law enforcement can use the memories of victims (including the dead) to find the perpetrators of the crimes.  And finally, there is the punitive side, where the machine is used as the punishment for a criminal.  What could be worse than to actually experience the pain, suffering, panic, that you inflicted on someone else?  

This is the third novel by Holliday, but the first one I have read.  I think he is a very creative writer with a good character development and sense of story arc.  There were a few instances where the story seemed to veer off course a bit, but all-in-all I very much enjoyed this novel. It was a quick but satisfying read.  It is available for purchase, of course, but if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership you can give it a try for free!  The second book in the series, Machine City is due to be published in October of this year.