Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin

Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin“Listen as if your life depended on it because you’ve entered a very strange and murky world, and things won’t be the same for you again…” – Frank Castle

Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle knows what he’s talking about, having descended deep down into a strange and murky world 28 long years ago. When he was still a young officer Castle was involved in the hunt for the “Woodlands Killer,” so named because of the location the horribly mutilated victims were found.

Though Castle was convinced the killer was a man named Karl Black, not only could Castle not gather enough evidence to have Black arrested, but Black was able to play mind games with Castle that had devastating consequences. Determined to prove Black was the killer, Castle spiraled into an obsession that cost him his marriage, a great deal of respect among his colleagues, and very nearly his sanity.

The “Woodlands Killer” was never caught.

Now, 28 years later, a new series of killings are occurring that mimic those from long ago. His colleagues think it the work of a copycat, but Castle isn’t so sure. Especially not with Karl Black still in the area, now running a sinister cult and every bit as willing to jump back into playing mind games with Castle. This time, however, Castle isn’t alone in his pursuit of Black. His young partner, DI Jackie Stone, is ready and willing to help Castle tackle the case. But as Castle sees Stone starting to fall into the same pattern of obsession and self-destruction he went through Castle is forced to make a tough choice: pursue Black at all costs, or save Stone – and himself – from a descent into the depths of madness?

In his debut full-length work author Richard Godwin has taken the best aspects of horror, police procedurals, and thrillers and deftly stitched them together into a riveting exploration of the path of destruction, both physical and psychological, that occurs when two police officers are willing to risk everything to go up against a sadistic, ritualistic killer bent on carrying out his twisted obsession.

The prose flows beautifully and seamlessly, which makes it all the more startling when an episode of violence rips into the narrative. And do be warned, the body count is high – as Castle notes at one point, “If this guy keeps up at this rate, there’ll be no hookers left.” – and the murders are described in graphic detail. Far from being gratuitous, however, Godwin employs the brutality of the crimes to remind the reader of what’s at stake and what Castle and Stone are up against, both in terms of saving potential victims as well as their own sanity.

But as Castle and Stone spiral ever deeper into the case and their obsession with Black they are forced to confront details that don’t quite add up and to ask themselves, are they really after the right man? Gripping from start to finish, and with an ending I guarantee you won’t see coming, Apostle Rising is a seriously intense and creepy piece of work.

Apostle Rising is available from Black Jackal Books (ISBN: 978-0956711304).

Richard Godwin writes dark crime fiction and is also a produced playwright. He was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London. His works in print include “Chemical,” published in the anthology Back in 5 Minutes, “Doll,” published in Howl: Tales of the Feral And Infernal, “Face off” in Crime Factory Issue #5, “Pike N Flytrap” in Needle Magazine, “Mother” in Tainted Tea, “Threshold Woman” in Pulp Ink and “Blazing Aphrodite” in Lyrotica. His Chin Wags At the Slaughterhouse are interviews he has conducted with writers, and can be found on his website.

– Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin –


  • Miss Alister

    September 29, 2011 - 2:50 PM

    This is a great review, Elizabeth – put together thoughtfully, expertly – with a different twist than all the other reviews I’ve read on ‘Apostle Rising’ to date – most Refreshing!

    When I read ‘Apostle Rising’, the thing that really got me, that won’t leave me alone to this day, is Mr. Godwin’s inspired writing, his oft poetic style, so lilting, so to-die-for that the worst horrors were wrapt in beauty, the beauty and psychopathic devotion that the novel’s killer felt in his commission to kill.

    I think the writing of this story, the power of it, is the real gift and draw. The clever plotting becomes ‘Oh hey! A bonus!’ If Godwin’s mix of style and plotting doesn’t create a booming stir, I don’t know what to say!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 29, 2011 - 3:58 PM

      Thank you for the kind comments. Of course, it’s easy to write a good review when the subject is as well written and enjoyable as Apostle Rising is. 😉

  • Joanne

    September 28, 2011 - 10:07 PM

    Great review! 🙂

  • Victoria Roder

    September 28, 2011 - 9:56 PM

    Congratulations on the great review, Richard. This sounds like a must read.

  • nigel

    September 28, 2011 - 3:25 PM

    It really is, and the violence is like no other you’ll have read.

  • Sabrina Ogden

    September 28, 2011 - 12:50 PM

    Sounds like a good read. Excellent review, Elizabeth.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 28, 2011 - 12:55 PM

      It is extremely good; some of the most intense writing I’ve read in quite some time.

      • Sabrina Ogden

        September 28, 2011 - 1:34 PM

        That says a lot considering how much you read and what you’ve been reading. Marking it. I’ve also heard a lot of talk about this one on the twitters. No review deadlines means… =)

        • Elizabeth A. White

          September 28, 2011 - 1:38 PM

          …means praise the lord and pass the next shiny new thing! 🙂

  • Lucious Lamour

    September 28, 2011 - 12:12 PM

    Ok, this sounds pretty damn good. I’ll definitely be checking it out.