The Unrepentant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Synopsis/blurb.....

They never expected her to fight back… 

Eighteen-year old Charlotte Reyes ran away from an abusive home only to end up tricked, kidnapped, and taken across the country by criminals. Charlotte manages to escape with the help of a reluctant former soldier named Mace Peterson, but she can’t seem to shake the gang or the crooked cop paid to bring her back—alive or otherwise. With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, Charlotte realizes she only has one option. She has to fight. 

Set in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. triangle, The Unrepentant combines page-gripping action and black comedy, and provides a no-holds-barred, necessary examination of the dark corners of the human mind. 

Praise for THE UNREPENTANT: 

“A gut-wrenching crime thriller. Readers who appreciate depth of character alongside gritty nonstop action will be rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly 
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My take....

A tough read depicting the trafficking and sexual abuse of a young women at the hands of a gang of criminals, headed up by one of the most brutal characters, Barnes that I've encountered in my reading over the past couple of years.

When Charlotte Reyes refuses to have her spirit broken, even though her body has been traumatised the answer is obvious for the gang. A violent death in the woods followed by burial in an unmarked grave. This is when her luck changes in the form of a fortuitous encounter with Mace Peterson, disturbing the intended execution.

On the run and hunted, and with severe trust issues, Charlotte has to decide on fight or flight. We end up with a combination of both, as Mace and his ex-wife Eve work on securing her safe passage across the country and a new identity with help from a small network of anti-traffickers. While that is being set up, Charlotte instead of playing safe sneaks off to try and get payback on her abusers on a one to one basis.

There are some interesting characters and dynamics in the book. Mace and his ex-wife still care for and worry about each other. He has a troubled family history, marred by depression and suicide in previous generations, which he fears will account for him in the end. Instead of sharing his fears and concerns with Eve, he's pushed her away and there's a schism between them. Charlotte's sudden appearance in their lives, almost acts as a kind of relationship therapy as it takes attention away from themselves and gives them a common purpose - help the girl.

Charlotte herself is a wonder. As she opens up to Mace and Eve, we get her back story and the details of her abuse and confinement. For someone so young her resilience is astonishing. I was conflicted between wanting her to play safe and sneak away quietly into a safer life or seeing her go full-throttle payback on her captives.

Plan B makes for an exciting read.

The author, through his characters also opens up a wider debate regarding prostitution and whether it is all abuse and control and subjugation, or if it is a legitimate career choice for people to pursue, not one necessarily forced upon them by economic necessity, or as in the case here by falling prey to criminals.

A harsh, brutal, and concerning story but balanced with hope, friendship, healing and a healthy dose of payback.

4.5 from 5

This was my first taste of E.A. Aymar's work. More from him sit on the pile - I'll Sleep When You're Dead (2013) and You're As Good As Dead (2015).

Read - March, 2019
Published - 2019
Page count - 220
Source - Net Galley, courtesy of publisher Down and Out Books
Format - ePub file read on laptop.

https://col2910.blogspot.com/2019/03/ea-aymar-unrepentant-2019.html
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E.A. Aymar is a fine and courageous thriller writer. The Unrepentant takes on one the world’s worst nightmares, human trafficking.  Fortunately for us, Aymar lays out the story with wit and grace which makes for a solid and absorbing crime tale peopled with dangerous and vicious characters.
The Unrepentant is a crime story that shouts out for your immediate attention. The subject matter is too important to dismiss as just another mystery. Bravo to the writer and all who read this excellent novel.
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This book has basically a very good story, a great plot and very interesting characters. The problem is that there are sudden flashbacks from everyone in the story, and this is disruptive and not very helpful to the story.
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I've always been impressed with E.A. (Ed) Aymar's short fiction that I have found around the web at sites such as Shotgun Honey and Yellow Mama, so there were hopes that this would be a great read and so it turned out to be.

Mace is out walking trying to clear his head following an argument with his ex-wife when he comes across two men dragging a tied and bound woman from a van in a nearby wood. Mace decides to do the right thing and tackles the man left with Charlotte. It's thereafter he doesn't give much thought to.

Charlotte has been dragged down into the world of prostitution and sex trafficking passed from man to man by the book's big bad, Barnes. He's an awful, terrifying figure at the centre of what is horrific backstory. Charlotte's backstory is unforgettable and goes further than the fiction as it's perfectly believable that there are plenty of women who have ended up in similar straits in reality.

What elevates the book further is that every character gets some form of backstory included, which serves to add empathy even where perhaps none should be given. Along with this is the twisting of tropes with Mace being ex-military, but at times essentially useless eschewing the Reacher type hero and being filled with strong female characters including Mace's ex-wife Eve, who you initially feel will be the standard nagging ex-wife type, but grows to be much more during the course of the story.

Aymar's action scenes are great too as they are methodical and allow you to picture the action smoothly. There's not a huge amount of them, but they are living on in my memory where usually I find some action  scenes to be too fast and include a touch too much detail, Aymar seems to leverage the right amount of detail and pace to make the action and the violence linger cinematically.

Aymar displays a full array of writing skill and talent in a thriller that is both timely and exciting. The world of sex trafficking is not explored to such a degree in the genre usually being the business, which props up bad guys, but here we see the devastation caused to the lives of women and one in particular. Highly recommend this as it works on multiple levels.
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The Unrepentant is E.A. Aymar's first standalone thriller and is both a timely and timeless tale of courage, revenge and fighting for your life when all hope seems lost. It follows a truly gutsy protagonist, Charlotte Reyes and her reluctant rescuer, Mace Peterson, as they attempt to flee from a criminal gang. It's a dark, disturbing and unsettling read and is full of gripping action from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed Aymar's signature dry wit which accompanies the narrative and gives a much needed lighter tone at certain points throughout.

This is a wonderfully woven, multilayered tale that you will remember long after the final page is turned. Mr Aymar gives us all of the aspects a great thriller should have and will no doubt keep even the most discerning reader entertained. If you are a fan of gritty and intense hard-boiled crime then pick this one up.

Many thanks to Down & Out Books for an ARC.
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THE UNREPENTANT is a dark, action-packed thriller shot through with E.A. Aymar’s signature wit. The story focuses on Charlotte, a victim of human trafficking, and Mace, a guy who just happened to be in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time, depending when you ask him), as they try to evade the truly repulsive criminals pursuing them. This book is at times heartbreaking, at times shocking, and always memorable.
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You will really feel for Charlotte and this book comes very close to describing who and what real purveyors of violence are.  The Unrepentant was an over the top thriller about  revenge and crime . There was always something at the end of every chapter to make me want to read one more.  I am becoming a true fan of E.A. Aymar and I hope this level of talent will continue.  Can't wait for his next book!
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Thank you to #NetGalley for this ARC of #TheUnrepentant

A dynamic novel that not only gives the reader all the hard edges of a thriller but offers a view of a young woman's  identity crisis and trauma after escaping years of sexual abuse. The author's broad range of characters host an alluring and multidimensional dynamic that broadens the scope of this novel. The story is dark and anticipatory as the reader is taken on an action filled narrative surrounding a young woman's will to survive. Great read. 5 stars
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