The Recordings

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Pub Date Oct 13 2023 | Archive Date Feb 29 2024


“In this thriller debut, Zona conjures a twisting—and twisted—tale… The character work and prose are both strong, and Zona is committed to capturing not just suspense but a rich sense of this cast’s lives without slowing down the narrative momentum. Zona brings welcome authenticity and forward-thinking view to his largely LGBTQ+ cast that refreshes, though a few stereotypes-played-as-jokes may divide some readers. A passionate heart drives The Recordings, and readers of thriller fiction powered by convincing, complicated people will find Zona an author to watch.” — BookLife Review

Joseph Bailey—recently fired after a student-scandal—moves to Baxtor Springs, hoping to publish a novel unlike his previous textbooks. After a massive explosion claimed hundreds of lives in Baxtor Springs, Joseph feels inspired to use the tragedy in his writing. But would it be malicious to write about the victims as an outsider?

Alone in his smart home, Joseph asks his Home Device to play a record—but his words are misinterpreted. Instead, the Home Device plays the recording of a murder, a recording unfamiliar to Joseph, who is struck with inspiration for the novel. He furiously writes, giving the crime a second life, fueled by his desire to be no longer labeled by his past. 

Desperate to get his new novel on the stands, Joseph befriends a local bookstore owner showcasing new authors at an event to support the victims of the massacre. As Joseph reads his book aloud to the eager audience, he notices someone watching him, and for the first time, he feels anxious that the killer has come to collect his due. These fears are pushed aside when Joseph meets Arturo de Leon, a local bar owner who invites Joseph for a drink. 

As Joseph pursues Arturo, the murderer is determined to uncover how Joseph put details of his dark past into words for the world to read.

“With The Recordings, Kyle Zona proves to be a refreshing and needed voice at the forefront of a new era of thrillers. The book will keep your mind and heart racing until the very last page.” — Patrick Gomez, Entertainment Weekly

THE RECORDINGS is a queer thrilling cat-and-mouse novel blending mystery and revenge while embracing technology. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy novels such as Finder’s Keepers (King) and Dark Places (Flynn).

“In this thriller debut, Zona conjures a twisting—and twisted—tale… The character work and prose are both strong, and Zona is committed to capturing not just suspense but a rich sense of this cast’s...

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ISBN 9798988221104
PRICE $9.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 28 members

Featured Reviews

This gets pretty dark and touches on some really disturbing topics but wow! I absolutely did nit see those twists coming and it made me reevaluate absolutely everything. Its a really original storyline and it keeps up a good pace and builds the tension throughout. I absolutely loved the concept and how well it was written, it all came together perfectly and didn't leave any plot holes and had even the most irrelevant things still tying in nicely. Highly recommend

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<i>I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.</i>

I admit, I didn't expect where this mystery was going. The plot and the characters subverted my expectations, and plotlines that I thought were irrelevant ended up tying together. I was expecting it to be faster paced.

Joseph is kind of an idiot, though.

CW: pedophilia, murder, suicide, violence, blood, vomit

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First things first : Check the trigger warnings before jumping into this one, it gets pretty heavy. Protect your mental health 😌❤️
Okay, now that this is out of the way, lets talk about this book : i really enjoyed it! It got me hooked right away. Intriguing characters, including a killer’s POV, which is always a plus in my opinion 👌🏻 It was actually really interesting for me to have all those puzzle pieces during that first half then having everything shift by that TURNED OF EVENT I DIDN’T SEE COMING. 😳 (maybe i’m too trusting, need to self reflect here). It switched everything for me and after that, it just felt like the tension was higher and i really appreciate this shift.
The atmosphere in this story was really heavy, each page felt painted by grief, hurt and guilt, and having this much pain plaguing a small town really made those emotions more vivid.
Kill scenes were fantastic 👌🏻
Also, every one is queer. So, you know i’m into it. 🤷🏻‍♀️
and can somebody PLEASE give Arturo the biggest hug of all time? Please and thank you.

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