Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
384 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Affinities is a work in the psychological thriller, suspense, and action subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to its dark themes and references. In this atmospheric and moody thriller piece, penned by Hollis Thompson, we are introduced to Andrew Goodwin, who is seemingly housebound by the terrifying voices in his head that stop him from leaving his abode. But when Andrew discovers that he may be going places that he has no control or recollection of, he begins to question even his mind. Is something otherworldly taking place? And why is he always covered in bruises and bloodstains?

Hollis Thompson has crafted a masterful work of thriller fiction and para-psychological storytelling that maintains its mystique and unique concept from cover to cover, always leaving us with more questions until the sudden shocks and twists of the final section. This makes for a slow-burning plot at the start. Still, Thompson uses this time well to work on character development around Andrew and lure us into the tense atmosphere of being carried through the tale by an unreliable narrator. I also found the work's visual imagery and descriptive techniques to be highly immersive, making even the same four walls feel different in their mood and sensations as the scenery began to reflect Andrew’s dwindling, fractured psyche. Overall, Affinities is a superbly crafted thriller that will please fans of the genre who are also looking for something wonderfully unsettling and original in its concept and approach.

Olga Markova

Affinities by Hollis Thompson is a gripping blend of paranormal mystery, supernatural romance, dark fantasy, and psychological thriller. Andrew Goodwin separates from his wife Kate and moves to a rented apartment where inexplicable nightmares, twisted dreams, scratching noises, frightening voices, and blood-chilling visions and shadows haunt him. Trying to resist these otherworldly manifestations, Andrew keeps collapsing in lethargy, and waking up, he feels like he lost track of time. Once, a sudden voice reassures him that “this will end soon.” Then, another day Andrew wakes up tied to the radiator, and a dead-looking stranger with bound hands sits in a chair opposite him. What is happening to Andrew? What will end soon? Who is the stranger in Andrew’s bedroom? Can Andrew put his life back on track?

Reading Affinities by Hollis Thompson, I never had a dull moment. The suspense of deftly intertwined episodes of Andrew Goodwin’s past and present life gripped me from the first page, and the complex plot full of riddles and blood-chilling discoveries in the later chapters kept me turning pages. In addition, the atmospheric, vivid descriptions of Andrew’s memories and feelings made me feel like I was watching a film. Most of all, I liked playing a guessing game to unravel the mystery of the supernatural events that unfolded in the novel and the hidden meaning behind the unique chapter titles made of single words with the first letter missing. I highly recommend this sophisticated story to paranormal, dark fantasy, psychological thriller, mystery, and romance fans.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Affinities by Hollis Thompson is a creepy, twisty psychological thriller. Voices in his head, waking him every night, growing ever louder in their bid to break out. That’s what Andrew Goodwin hears. He has no idea whose voices they are, but they won’t let him leave his house, and at times they won’t let him stay awake. As Andrew desperately tries to take control of his life, he begins to record himself and makes a stunning discovery. He sees himself going out and coming back every day as if everything were normal. But he can’t remember any of it and doesn’t know why his body is covered in blood and bruises. What is happening to Andrew? Why is his entire life a lie and who stole his life?

Affinities by Hollis Thompson will send shivers down your spine. This is a real page-turner, a story that hooks you right from the start and sends you on a mind-bending journey with tons of twists. This is not one of those stories where you can guess the ending straight away or even halfway through. No, this one takes you to the very end, drawing you ever deeper in as the suspense ramps up. The descriptions are real and will have you questioning what happens when you close your eyes at night – if you ever do again. Thompson has created some great characters, well-developed, entirely believable, and likable, and his writing style is almost hypnotic. The story moves steadily, gradually becoming more intense and the intrigue develops nicely. This is a unique story that flows well with a great twist. I loved this book, and am looking forward to reading the second in the series.