Book Review: ASYLUM
Jemima Pett - Author of 'The Princelings of the East' Trilogy- February 13, 2012
This is not a children’s book but is clean, family oriented and intriguing. Dr Russell suddenly decides to solve his family troubles by taking indefinite, unplanned leave from his job, and takes his wife and two kids on the holiday of a lifetime.
What a holiday! Just imagine the most enjoyable tour of the West Coast of North America, staying in the best hotels, doing all the outdoor sports and sight-seeing trips (they missed out Mount Rainier but maybe it’s changed since I went there). Every now and then danger strikes but Dad handles it all. What is he? Ex Special Forces or something? What is the secret? When he asks what they should do next, the son says “Grand Canyon”. So they drop everthing and go off on the spur of the moment via Las Vegas… and of course it doesn’t stop there. By now I’m thinking, has he embezzled his workplace? Is it all a fraud? Stolen some credit cards?
Despite the travelogue becoming almost relentless with its impeccably researched hotels, cafes and rest stops, not to mention the tourist attractions (I’ve been on a lot of those trips – over a 25 year period!) the slick writing compels you to continue. A most enjoyable read with a persistent twitch in the telling to remind you that somewhere, sometime, reality will bite.
And it does, in a beautifully constructed solution.
Review of ASYLUM
eNovel Reviews - February 13, 2012
Dr. Matthew Russell is the Managing Director of the Montreal Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He is an ambitious and overzealous psychiatrist and administrator. Though his work ethic and seven-day-a-week schedule has its cost; his family. His wife has become exceedingly bitter and distant, seeking solace in a wine glass. The chasm between him and his children has grown wide and deep, they barely know who he is.
On December 31, New Year's Eve, torn between his professional duties or the integrity of his family, he makes a dramatic decision. He will take time off from his job, indefinitely, and take his family on a vacation of a lifetime. Though such a decision will surely jeopardize his stellar career path, and his colleagues attempt to reason with him, his mind is made up. What transpires is a slow and painful descent into career suicide, while he reconnects with the people in his life he truly loves.
The Montreal-born author, Claude Bouchard, has been self-publishing his own books since 1995, well before the Kindle Revolution. He is well-known for his crime thrillers, particularly his acclaimed first novel Vigilante. With Asylum, Bouchard has deviated from his sleazy characters and shadowy environments to write an effective and breath-taking psychological thriller. It's a gripping tale that takes you on a truly death-defying journey. Yet there is a burning question lingering in the subtext about the excruciating choices we must make in life. What are you willing to sacrifice?
Bouchard is brilliant at creating a clever twist at the end, or possibly a twisted ending. A real shocker and a testament to his genius writing ability.--eNovel Reviews
Review of ASYLUM
Maria Snell - Flair by MariaS - February 13, 2012
My Rating: Must Read
Review of Vigilante
Tiffany Harkleroad - Tiffany's Bookshelf - May 12, 2011
A serial killer is stalking Montreal during the summer of 1996. But most people show little concern for stopping him. The reason is, this killer only kills the bad guys. Criminals, deadbeat, pimps, punks, rapists, drug dealers, that is who this vigilante killer is after. And while at times the police force feel these lowlifes get justice, they must find the person responsible for these killings. When the cops team up with a high tech computer security firm, several interesting suspects are brought to light.
I have to say, this is probably the best mystery/thriller book I have ever read, and I am now hungry for more books in this series! First off, I will say the character development was superb. There are several main characters involved in the storyline, and each one is developed in their own time and pacing, as is relevant to the story. I felt like I really knew the characters well, and was certain I had the mystery solved.
The mystery aspect of the plot is so incredibly well written. There are, like any good mystery, some red herrings thrown in, and done so skillfully that I was completely duped, thinking I was so smart for figuring out so early into the story who the killer actually was. The ending, and the reveal of the killer's identity hit me like a ton of bricks, as I never expected it. The last sentence of the book made me shiver with delight.
If more mysteries were this well written, I could become a full time mystery reader. Absolutely fabulous story, one that had me up in the middle of the night reading, just to find out if my hunch was true.
Review of 'Vigilante' - Posted on Amazon.com
John Locke - NYT Best-selling author of "Saving Rachel" - March 11, 2011
Taut, Witty Thriller: From the opening scene, Claude Bouchard's Vigilante hits you like a hook to the liver, and addresses the timeless issues of murder, revenge, and the human yearning for justice. Vigilante is the type of book you read after locking the doors and checking the closets. It's a witty thriller, full of passion and suspense, and as others have said, virtually impossible to put down. Claude Bouchard guides you step by step through a seamy, dangerous world, while never allowing you to lose hope. As others have said, the ending is excellent. But don't get hung up wondering about it as you read, for Vigilante is a seven-course meal, and each portion is a feast to be savored. Five Stars!
Review of '6 Hours 42 Minutes' - Posted on Goodreads
Eric Thomasma - Author of the 'seams16' series - February 19, 2011
Claude Bouchard is one of my favorite authors. This is the 5th book in the Barry/McCall series and I have loved every one of them. He introduces the characters and sets the stage for a carefully planned bank heist. Nothing is overlooked, every detail anticipated, and the plan proceeds like clockwork, but having read the rest of the series, and knowing that Chris Barry is in the bank, you almost feel sorry for the bad guys.
You know what's coming in a broad sense, but the details keep you guessing until the very end. Little by little, sometimes minute by minute, the story unfolds as everything that can go wrong for the robbers, does, usually at the hands of Chris and his friends from "Discreet Activities". It's a fun read with plenty of action, suspense, humor, and mystery to keep you entertained throughout.
The language can get a little rough, but it's appropriate for the characters involved.
I highly recommend 6 Hours 42 Minutes, but strongly suggest that if you haven't read the rest of the series, go back and start at the beginning, Vigilante. Not because you need the earlier stories to enjoy this one, but because each is a mystery and subsequent stories contain spoilers.
Review of 'The Consultant' by Claude Bouchard
Jessica Subject - Mark of the Stars - November 9, 2010
Claude Bouchard was one of my early followers on Twitter back when I joined in February, and since then, I have read two of his books. In October, I finished The Consultant, the second in his Barry/McCall series.
WARNING: Do not read this book until you have read ‘Vigilante’. Consider yourself warned!! Murderers, drug lords, biker gangs, kidnappers… None stand a chance against… The Consultant.
I agree. If you have not read Vigilante, you should do so now before reading The Consultant, but that doesn’t stop you from reading my review.
In The Consultant, Chris Barry is back and better than ever. He has shucked his high-salaried position with CSS Inc., anxious to live out his early retirement. Before he can enjoy the perks though, Chris is approached with the offer of a contract position with a top secret government organization within the Ministry of Defense. Their leader, Jonathan Adley knows of Chris’ past, but leaves the decision of whether to accept the position up to Chris. Of course, Chris accepts and delves right in to his new position and uses his special skills to reveal the mystery behind the death of one of the chief officers at Quality Imports.
The Consultant is a quick-read with some great new characters and the wonderful old ones. Without overwhelming the reader with description, Claude easily pulls the reader into Chris Barry’s life. The short chapters help to build suspense, and made it easy for me to say, “okay, I’ll read just one more chapter,” over and over.
If you enjoy reading thrillers, check out The Consultant, but be sure to read Vigilante first.
Now next Tuesday, I will be posting my interview with Claude Bouchard, but I decided to share with you some of the questions and answers relating to The Consultant.
Who would you choose to play Chris Barry if any book from the Barry/McCall series were made into a movie?
CB: Back when I started the series in 1995, I thought Matthew McConaughey might fit the bill. Maybe he still would.
Now this series is known as the Barry/McCall series, but Dave McCall took a back seat in The Consultant. Does he come back to the forefront in the following books in the series?
CB: No worries. Dave McCall is quite present in both Mind Games and The Homeless Killer.
In The Consultant, you introduce other characters such as RCMP (Officer) Nick Sharp and Jonathan Adley. Are they featured in upcoming books in the series?
CB: Jonathan Addley is a main character in both Mind Games and The Homeless Killer. Nick Sharp is not but is bound to show up in future works in the series just as François Duguay of the Quebec Provincial Police from The Consultant is featured in my current 6 Hours 42 Minutes.
Can you tell us more about Jonathan Adley and his career?
CB: Considering the position which Jonathan Addley holds with the Ministry of Defence, you must understand that any information regarding his career is on a “need to know” basis only. I wouldn’t want you to get hurt by prying, Jessica.
Remember to come back next week for the rest of the interview.
Link to Mark of the Stars website
MoonDustWriter Thursday - Featuring Author Claude Bouchard
Leslie Moon - One Stop Poetry - October 28, 2010
I met Claude Bouchard on Twitter almost a year ago. What amazed me about Claude was he had 50,000 + followers but he added me and commented back to me. When I told him I would be interested in reading his book Vigilante, he sent me a copy to read. With all the people Claude knows, he could have blown me off or sent me spam - He didn't, he never has. Over the year, I have enjoyed getting to know Claude, his wife and his writing cohort Luke Romyn. Claude continues to be well liked in the Social Media spectrum; one indicator the 110,000 + Twitter followers. Claude lives in Montreal and is either writing, clowning around on-line, or enjoying art, music...
You have to know this about me as a reader; I don't consider a book a novel until it is either a tome (it has to be at least 1000 pages of classic literature) or from the first chapter the book and I are one. Claude's books ( all New York Times Best Sellers caliber) come with a magnet included (free of charge.)
Vigilante (book one of an on-going crime/ suspense series), pulls the reader into a complex situation. Characters are seeking a solution to crimes that are rampant in the beautiful, vibrant metropolis of
Claude manages to keep all these balls up in the air at one time. I think his side line may be as a magician; he has the ability to use a slight of hand type writing that keeps the reader distracted. I was captivated by Vigilante's story line until the end and stared, mouth agape for ten minutes at the conclusion.
Yes- Claude Bouchard is a master of the written word.
Vigilante would fit perfectly on that list of hard to buy for people on your holiday shopping list and don't forget one for you.
Link to One Stop Poetry Article and Review
Vigilante - A Keep You Up At Night Page Turner
Dee Marie - Author of 'Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy' - March 11, 2010
My favorite novels are the ones that keep me up far past my bedtime with the yearning to, "read just one more page." I lost a lot of sleep reading "Vigilante." In Claude Bouchard's well-crafted tale, the reader follows a serial killer on the prowl, witnessing his psychotic breaks with reality as he takes revenge on maladjusted, immoral misfits.
What sets this crime drama apart from others in its genre, was that the serial killer was the protagonist. Yet, with a smattering of red herrings and smoking guns, the vigilante's identity is cunningly kept ambiguous until the very end of the tale.
The face-paced writing was explosive with smart, tight, action-packed scenes. Although the characters were put in implausible circumstances, there was still a ring of authenticity to their actions and reactions. The dialog flowed with gritty, criminal-world realism.
Word of caution, for those readers who are squeamish when it comes to bloodshed, "Vigilante" has no shortage of violence. The story, however, was also tempered with equal amounts of logical reasoning, and a smattering of tongue-in-cheek humor.
"Vigilante" was a daunting tale that kept me up late at night, haunting my dreams long after the lights went out.
The Consultant - An Action-packed Thrill Ride
Dee Marie - Author of 'Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy' - March 11, 2010
As a novelist, and an avid reader, it takes a lot to surprise me in regards to plot. Yet, Claude Bouchard's masterful beginning of "The Consultant" did just that. The novel is not a mere sequel, but instead a well-written, powerful continuation of the characters born within his thriller, "Vigilante."
Instead of rehashing the previous storyline, Claude revisits many of the characters from his previous story with a refreshing twist. Walking away from his life of crime, the protagonist in "The Consultant," has put aside his dark persona and gone legit...only to once more find himself in the middle of a murderous conspiracy.
"The Consultant," is filled the usual suspects, written in a nonconforming manner. There's the handsome reformed hero, a bevy of beautiful woman, an over-abundance of bad guys, and of course what thriller would be complete without sexy sports cars and car chases. In one memorable chapter, I was brought to tears when an exquisite red Mustang was destroyed in an explosive high-speed collision. Great writing!
The story often read like a movie, and I have no doubt that Clint Eastwood, in his prime, would have bought the rights to play the lead in movie version of "The Consultant."
After devouring both "The Consultant" and "Vigilante," I look forward to Claude Bouchard taking me with him on his next adventurous ride.
Book Review For 'Vigilante' by Claude Bouchard
C.K. Webb - WebbWeaver Reviews - September 8, 2009
Claude Bouchard is a Canadian born author and artist living and working in Montreal. His book 'Vigilante' is the first of four novels written and published by Mr.Bouchard.
A child is raised under horrible circumstances and witnesses heart-wrenching atrocities daily. He vows then to never again sit idly by, while others suffer at the hands of their aggressors.
Years later a Vigilante is on the loose in Montreal, Canada, and he is cleaning up the streets, one lowlife at a time. Gang bangers, murders, rapists and abusers are all the same to the Vigilante and he brutalizes each one just as they have done to their victims. When a woman is nearly raped by two seedy businessman and then rescued by the Vigilante, local Investigator Dave McCall gets a hunch that the woman has seen more than she is willing to admit. McCall then initiates the help of Chris Barry, the Chief Operating Officer of CSS Enterprises, one of the largest and fastest growing corporations in the computer intelligence industry. The two become fast friends and work together to trace the origins of the Vigilante's computer transmissions and to track, identify and put him away for good!
This book is a roller coaster ride, kick in the pants! Just when I thought I had it all figured out...Wham! Claude hit me with a twist that I never saw coming. I would recommend 'Vigilante' to anyone who loves a great, thrilling mystery ride. I am very excited to watch Claude Bouchard's career unfold onto page and anxious to read his three other books, 'The Consultant', 'Mind Games' and 'The Homeless Killer'. If you think you have a clue who the Vigilante is...Think Again!
I give this book a 4-spidar rating.
Vigilante Review by C.K. Webb - WebbWeaver Reviews
Vigilante - Book Review
Winslow Eliot - Author of 'The Bright Face of Danger' - September 8, 2009
It’s summer in the city of Montreal, and a lot of people are out and about in Claude Bouchard’s edge-of-your-seat thriller, Vigilante. We meet some sexy and some not-so-sexy dames. We encounter the victims (several of them, actually, and usually near the end of their depraved careers). And of course there’s the eponymous Vigilante himself: a murderer of murderers. A man whose self-justification leads him to the very life of crime he intends to clean up.
At first Bouchard’s wham – bam – pow – oof style of writing kind of startled me. After all, I’m more used to the demure misery that poor Fanny had to endure at Mansfield Park, not the baseball-bat-over-the-head-kind-of-pain that a badass rapist has to put up with in his final hours.
But I quickly got sucked into the fast-paced, action-packed story. I enjoyed following the intelligent mind of Montreal’s Special Homicide Task Force, Dave McCall, and his buddy, multimillionaire Chris Barry: “Dirty blond hair and perfect teeth. Approximately five-ten and one hundred seventy-five pounds, he seemed to be in fine physical shape. His most striking feature was his eyes: ice-blue, intelligent, powerful eyes.” Mmmmm - yummy.
This smart duo refuses to be daunted by the city’s series of vengeful, ghastly murders, and team up to ferret out the criminal. Before long, I realized something different about this novel: it’s actually entertaining! So instead of wincing at the crushed skulls and creepy syringes, I started to have fun with it. The Vigilante is a tragic Superhero (or Supervillain) who, having endured some traumatizing childhood experiences, is now wholly committed to fighting crime with crime. Sure, he’s a bit out of control, but that makes him all the more exciting.
All in all, I had a really great time with this book. Best of all, there are three more to go in the series: The Consultant, Mind Games, and The Homeless Killer (another vigilante-type who has taken upon himself to rid the city of all variety of street people).
Vigilante Review by Winslow Eliot
Claude Bouchard is the Author of an Entire Crime-Wave!
Patrick Mackeown - Litarena Reviews (Author of 'The Expendability Doctrine') - July 31, 2009
Claude's covers are stark and so are his books. They're pared down. They're simple and they're raw. His writing is just as direct. Claude and his killers rampage through each of his fast-paced stories leaving the all the readers, the police and the captivated media too dizzy and on tenterhooks. (excerpt from Crime Wave - Three Terrific Thrillers click link and scroll down)
Claude Bouchard writes fast-paced crime thrillers. They're set within Montreal's Special Homicide Task Force Centre and led by Lieutenant, (later Captain) Dave McCall. Right from the start Bouchard tells his readers that, "McCall's division specialised in only the bizarre, high-profile and extraordinary murders that took place within this fine city." So we already know what kind of crimes we're going to read about. And that's precisely what we get. They're what you would expect from serial killer stories, a trail of bodies and taunting messages to the police, what one policeman refers to as 'Dear Morons,' letters.
Bouchard's writing is splendid and accurate in every detail. He has dotted every i and crossed every t. Both he and his editorial helpers are to be congratulated on a series of very fine accomplishments. There are lots of things to note about Claude's books. Firstly there is a series of books about Dave McCall's investigations. Secondly they're page-turners. Bouchard writes with the clear intention of setting his readers the challenge of working out, along with the detective, who the culprit is. They're whodunnits, but not in the Agatha Christie mode, and not exactly in the Edgar Allan Poe mode either. They're a little more like James Patterson novels, except for the fact that in a James Patterson novel you sometimes already know who the killer is. The question there often is will he be caught or not? Whereas in Claude's stories you've both things to worry about.
Claude's books are holiday thrillers. They're not attempting to teach the reader anything about police techniques or Canada, or anything about anything, really. They're just supposed to be fun to read. In almost all important respects this is the truest art of the novelist. His job is to create a story which the reader will enjoy reading. And Claude does that admirably. People who like reading page-turning crime stories will get a big kick out of reading Claude's stories.
You get a sense of policework which stretches back a couple of decades. Today crime fiction is mostly high-tech. We've got scientific analysis for everything. We know what the victim ate for lunch before she purchased it. Not in Claude's books. Claude's cops get up, they go to bed, they drink coffee, they arrest criminals and for much of the time they're plainly confused. They don't know who the killer is, neither do we, neither does the press and nor does the public. We're all confused. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, the bodies are piling up out there. Decades ago crime fiction was portrayed in a gritty way. Detectives were busy. They swore. They missed shifts and slept with each others' wives. Decades ago fictional policemen, and women, were real people, but not any more. Today they're all waiting for a lab report of some kind. Not Claude's; they don't get any lab reports. With Claude Bouchard, crime is back the way it used to be. It's in the alleys. It's in the streets. There are dead bodies out there and the press is photographing them. The pressure is on. The police have got to do something, but what? Of course, you have to read the books to find out. You won't be disappointed that you did.
Claude Bouchard is the Author of an Entire Crime-Wave! (click this link and scroll down)
Independent Author Book Review: Vigilante, by Claude Bouchard
Holly Christine - Pittsburgh Book Examiner - June 30, 2009
Bouchard leads the reader to believe they know the identity of the Vigilante, that they have it all figured out from the start. But, no. The twists and turns will keep the reader guessing and wanting more.
Vigilante’s follow-up, The Consultant, is equally engaging. By bringing the characters of Vigilante to the next level, Bouchard has managed to create a thrilling series, completely living up to and exceeding the standards of its Mystery and Crime genre. Both Vigilante and The Consultant are available in paperback and Ebook format.
Independent Author Book Review: Vigilante, by Claude Bouchard
Other reviews by readers can be found on Vigilante's Lulu page at Vigilante on Lulu - scroll down for reader reviews