Reviews

Manifest Recall, by Alan Baxter

pbanditp's review

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5.0

I am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. Manifest Recall by Alan Baxter. It is so good. It grabs you pulls you off the cliff. You can’t help but rip through it to get to the inevitable conclusion. I am so glad that I already have the sequel Recall Night in my bloody hands.

What is it about you ask? Eli Carver comes out of a fugue not remembering much. He is however, driving a car with a girl wearing zip-tie cuffs and a large tee shirt. As his memory slowly comes back so do his old ghosts to haunt and mock him. Really, that is all I can say without spoilers. Go get this book and read it. You’ll be done by dinner time because you won’t be able to stop to bother eating.

maxines_obsessions's review

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4.0

Manifest Recall is a dark, fast paced, violent read, which will grip you tight and just when you think it couldn't get anymore intense, it will deliver an emotional uppercut that may move you to tears.

barb4ry1's review

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4.0

I still don’t know what hit me, but it was fast. If you‘ve ever wondered how to beat the hell out of a reader in less than 200 pages, ask Baxter for a recipe. He does it well.

The story opens with the protagonist (Eli Carver) fleeing down the road in a beaten up old car. He doesn‘t know why he‘s on the run or why there‘s a hardly dressed and terrified young woman in the passenger seat. Did he kidnap her? Probably. Hard to say when ghosts of people he had killed in the past taunt him all the time and root for his demise. 

As Eli’s memories return, we learn that he was a skilled killer and a damn good shot. We learn through flashbacks about the events that led him to his current situation. And trust me when I say Baxter will sucker punch you repeatedly.

Manifest Recall is fast, furious, violent and dark. It’s bleak-ass. It pulls no punches and combines drama, a psychological thriller, over-the-top hitman story and horror elements. With its relentless pace and nervous energy it kept me on the edge of the seat. How does it feel? Imagine a high-octane mix of Lynch’s Lost Highway mystery and inescapable nightmare, Liam Neeson movies’ linear and non-compromising violence and Drive’s bizarre atmosphere.  

If you’re into violent noir action movies with mental break elements, give Manifest Recall a try. It won’t disappoint you. 



kyrilson's review

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4.0

I really enjoyed this book by Alan Baxter. He's one of those writers that are an auto-buy for me. As soon as he comes out with a new book, I pick it up. I actually read this a while back, but I was rereading it in preparation for the sequel "Recall Night" and realized that I hadn't reviewed this. Excellent book. This is a very fast paced noir style book with supernatural dashes thrown into it for good measure.
We open the book with Eli Carver driving a car and he has no memory, and a young woman next to him is tied up, and ghosts of men he's killed are in the back seat haunting him. And he's fleeing from something, something terrible that he just can't face head on.
Baxter does a great job of feeding the reader the pieces of Eli's memory slowly, through excellent use of flashback technique that is seamless and well done. The writing is excellent (as always from Mr. Baxter). Everything builds to an explosive ending that's very satisfying. There isn't much in the way of horror here, it's more of a noir/crime novel and it is a well done one.

failbluedot's review

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5.0

I've read a lot of Alan's books now and this almost certainly has the least sympathetic protagonist, so be prepared for something at the extreme of the gritty end of urban fantasy. A fast-paced, exciting and interestingly-uncomfortable read!

onetrackmind77's review against another edition

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5.0

At 140 pages, this book hooks you quick and keeps a quick pace for the entire ride. Strap yourself in because this book does not give you a second to catch your breath. This book would work well as a standalone, but I'm happy to know that Alan Baxter has more of Eli Carver's story to tell with the follow up, Recall Night.

alwroteabook's review

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5.0

Take a dash of Goodfellas, a sprinkle of Memento, a teaspoon of American Werewolf and add Commando to taste - that is roughly Manifest Recall.

Part mystery, part paranormal and part psychological thriller, Manifest Recall packs in quite a bit in a relatively short novel. The story revolves around Eli Carver, who finds himself driving a car with a tied-up, scantily clad woman in the passenger seat. How did he get there? Who is the woman? And why doesn't he remember the last couple of days. More to the point, why the hell are the ghosts of people he's killed tagging along for the ride?

Eli is a bad man, yet somehow the author makes us (well me) sympathetic to his cause. The pace doesn't let up for a second (I read it in a couple of hours), and you'll want to know where the hell it is going, and how it all ends up.

My first Alan Baxter read, definitely not my last.

shambolick's review

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4.0

Loved this book. It had the same rollicking gritty noir feel to it that I love about Alan Baxter and his books. Without spoiling the ending there is a feeling of true jeopardy with the characters. This makes you realize that you are invested in this world, and the story is pulling you along pell-mell. Great stuff.

brittneyreadsbooks's review

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

4.0

Sometimes you just need something fun, action packed and easy to digest. Now, typically I get my mobster-biker-gangs-white supremacists-hit men-drug dealer-hero on the run kind of hits from movies or tv shows, rather than books - and if Manifest Recall is anything to go by, I’ve been missing out!

Carver’s story is one of intrigue – what exactly has happened to land him where he is? Why is he on the run? Why can’t he remember anything? And how does Carly fit into it? (Outside of simply being one badass female character, as unwilling an accomplice as she may be).

As the story progresses and we slowly learn of the events that led to Carver’s need for vengeance, it becomes pretty clear that one, Carver may be flawed but he’s flawed in that “not quite a good guy but we’re still gonna get behind him anyway ‘cause he’s been through some shit” kind of way and two, we are headed for a showdown of likely epic proportions.

This was fast paced, punchy, filled to the brim with action and perfectly topped off with a supernatural element that in less-skilled hands could have ruined it entirely but in this case, was simply the icing on the cake that is this tense, bloody, gripping, brutal thriller.

thomaswjoyce's review

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5.0

Some readers will say that the noir trope of an amnesiac protagonist is overdone. But, when it is done well, the rule is worth breaking. And Baxter does it so well at the beginning of this book. He intertwines action with the character development in such a way that we learn about Eli's past - and the traumatic reason for his memory loss - without it being an info-dump. It is a fast-paced, action-packed novella with a great supernatural twist and excellent characters.