Blog Tour! The Burning Hill by A.D. Flint
Good Tuesday morning friends!
I am thrilled to be a stop on the blog tour for The Burning Hill by A.D. Flint!
You know the feeling you get when you read a book by an author that is just SO WELL written, with such unbelievably descriptive scenes that it literally plays out like a movie in your mind? That is THIS book - I spent every page imagining EXACTLY how this would look as a movie. Let’s just say, someone needs to option this STAT, because it would make on hell of a movie.
I LOVE books that pull you in so deeply, and this is a story that does exactly that - every location, the heat, the dust, the smells, the tastes - I was living this story. Books that can create that sense of tangible connection for me are near perfect in my mind. Not to mention the completely compelling plot that made it so I could not put this book down.
On the run from unjust court-martial back home, a young British soldier gets robbed and shot on Copacabana Beach. The bullet in Jake’s head should have killed him but, miraculously, it saves him from a previously undetected brain aneurysm that soon would have killed him. Jake doesn’t believe in fate, nor does he feel he owes anything to anybody, but he does hate injustice, and the favela kid that fired the bullet is a victim of injustice.
Named Vilson, the teenage kid is in a corner with corrupt cops and a sadistic drug-lord after his blood. Jake was at his best in combat, he is not so great at being a civilian. His career was destroyed by a compulsion to fly in the face of authority, and Brazil was meant to be a clean break. But anger is never far from the surface, and it drives him into Vilson’s brutal world, intent on getting him out. If he can just save Vilson, maybe he can finally purge some of his own demons.
With a turf war erupting between drug gangs and corrupt cops for control of Vilson’s favela, fear stalks every narrow alleyway. And anyone dragged up to the notorious Burning Hill had better hope they’re dead before they get there. When Jake rescues Vilson from execution on the Burning Hill and spirits him away from the favela, Vilson is convinced that he is finally on the path to his destiny, having clung to a promise made to him in childhood. When it turns to dust he becomes someone else, something else. From timid kid to vengeful killer, he becomes known as the Ghost when he returns to the superstitious favela.
Jake refuses to give up on a kid seemingly beyond saving and, in a final conflict on the Burning Hill, he is faced with a choice that could push him to the dark edges of society forever.
As everyone knows, I love a story with conflicted, complex and flawed characters, so this book was a terrific match for me. Both Jake and Vilson are broken, complicated humans, with their histories and circumstance having shaped them into what they are. I loved how the story moved from one characters perspective to the other, letting the reader fall deeper into an understanding of who these people were, and why they were so driven to do what they do.
I also am completely enamored with the pace of this book, which clipped along with barely a moment for me to catch my breath, which was completely on point with the plot of the story. I rarely find myself in a situation where I enjoy reading a lengthy fight scene, however this story has become the exception to that rule. I was on the edge of my seat with each page to see where the pieces were going to land. A.D. Flint does not disappoint here - he is relentless with where the story takes the reader, again, staying completely true to the realities of this world.
I cannot, as a reader, share more plot with you friends, as I would hate to give anything away. Stories like this deserve to be read with minimal expectation going in, so you can truly appreciate the work for what it is - brilliantly done.
The one thing I will note, is that this book is all the more compelling (to me anyways) when I read that the author was inspired by actual events he witnessed in his own life:
On a June afternoon in 2000 there was a robbery just a few blocks from where the author was living in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. It turned into a hostage situation. The teenage robber had survived a notorious massacre of street children outside a Rio church years before, and the tragedy that played out in the aftermath of the robbery on live TV news was an embodiment of the desperation of life at the bottom of the heap. An ugly thing in this beautiful city, shocking, even to a society inured to everyday violence.
As an Englishman new to Rio, the author was beguiled by the city, and found it profoundly disturbing to watch something happening just down the road that was so out of control and so wrong. The author spent a year in Brazil and now lives on the south coast of England with his Brazilian wife and two sons.
Again, without spoiler - this piece of information shapes the story every more dramatically for me as the reader, as true stories, or true events always do.
This is all to say - this is book you should have on your must read pile this winter. It will keep you up well into the night, and stick with you for days after. And who knows, one day we might finally get to see this play out on the screen!
Thank you so much #RandomThingsTour for including me on this wonderful blog tour! Be sure to check out the other stops for more insight into this awesome new book!