Red Screen

Fiction - Thriller - General
336 Pages
Reviewed on 10/26/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christopher Solaas for Readers' Favorite

In the near future, most of the world is plugged into the virtual worlds created in the Metaverse. The realism in these games blurs the line between fantasy and reality and in these games, players can indulge their darkest desires. Parker Reid is the FBI’s top profiler and has been tasked with catching another monster – a serial killer who is beheading his victims with a sword. Shea Britton plays an almost invincible elf named Darshana in an online VR game. A new player has shown up, a monster that appears to have hacked the system to make himself invulnerable and untraceable. In Red Screen by Daniel Burke, these two worlds collide as Parker follows clues that lead him to the Metaverse, following the monster whose next victim might not only be Darshana but Shea as well.

Red Screen by Daniel Burke is a gripping thriller, with edge-of-the-seat action from cover to cover. The world-building of the Metaverse, and the Land of Might and Magic, where much of the action takes place, is immersive and breathtaking. Character interactions both in and out of the Metaverse are realistic and carry the story forward well. I was impressed with the author’s grasp of online gaming and the demands of presenting that much data to that many players online. The technical details of the storage and tracing of these interactions were a critical plot point and did not get in the way of the story at all. The novel seamlessly mixed the world of forensics with the world of online VR gaming. This was a book I simply could not put down until the final and satisfying conclusion.

Essien Asian

Three years ago Parker Reid almost lost his life chasing down a maniacal serial killer. He may have dodged a bullet that day but the killer did enough to leave a lasting impression on him. Now he is back on the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and is helping his team track down a different kind of suspect. Someone is sneaking into people's homes and killing the occupants in a disturbingly creative way. Parker senses that the killer is working on a schedule and sets about stopping him before it's too late. He has no idea that his investigation will push him into a virtual world where the difference between life and death comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Find out if Parker is up to the task in Daniel Burke's Red Screen.

The lines between the real world and virtual reality collide in Daniel Burke's thriller of a novel. The action is nonstop from the very first page as a killer pushes the main protagonist to the limit of his reasoning abilities in Red Screen. The conversations between the characters are a delight to follow. Nothing comes off as dull or unrelated to the clues needed to get to the bottom of this mystery and the originality of the gaming-related banter is simply spot on in every aspect. The not-so-obvious reference to James Cameron’s Aliens series feels right at home in a story that could very well equal it when it comes to its suspense levels. It is not every day I come across a novel crafted with such high levels of suspense and action that it is almost impossible to set aside but in Red Screen, I have found exactly that. Burke's novel is a masterpiece in a class of its own.

Rabia Tanveer

Red Screen by Daniel Burke is a thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. The only highlight of introverted Shea Britton’s life was when she played Land of Might and Magic in Metaverse. She felt alive when she played as the invincible Darshana. However, Shea got the fright of her life when Darshana was almost eliminated by a character named The Gray Warrior. Shea believed she was nothing without Darshana. Things changed when she was approached by Angela Harding, the Manager of Xperion, the company that created the game. They want to eliminate The Gray Warrior and remove the liabilities that it created. However, they had no idea The Gray Warrior was a real-life serial killer with FBI profiler Parker Reid hot on his heels. Parker had been looking for a serial killer, and that search brought him to Xperion. Now, it was Parker’s job to find out who The Gray Warrior was because time was running out, and Shea might be his next target.

Intense and packed with action, this high-octane thriller was perfect in every sense of the word. I loved Shea; she was very relatable and the most realistic character in the story. Parker was larger than life and everything you'd expect from a shrewd and intelligent FBI profiler. Angela, on the other hand, was a little hard to understand in the beginning. However, as the story continued and author Daniel Burke explored more of Angela, I found her to be a solid character to look out for in the future. Parker was fantastic. He was the life of the story, with action all around him. There was chaos and danger, and Burke made sure his readers were fully invested in it from the very first chapter. The descriptions were remarkable, and the dialogues were crisp. I was transported into their world and was holding on to each little detail to figure out who The Gray Warrior was. I highly recommend it!

K.J. Simmill

In Daniel Burke’s Red Screen, Parker Reid knows monsters. Not just because he is a renowned profiler, but because he faced one and lost everything. It took a lot to claw himself back, but he did. Now, with only his job left, he works hard to find the monsters so others don’t have to experience what he did. The thing is, by the time they call him in, there is already loss and suffering. This case, however, promises to reopen the thin scar tissue covering his wounds. A murderer roams the streets, killing and taking trophies in such a way it stumps everyone. The answers could lie within an anomaly, or should that be The Anomaly, the one who roams The Land of Might and Magic destroying all within its path as it hunts. The developers know there is a problem, but admitting it could be their downfall. With so many secrets, with the company wanting to keep their problems quiet and using their own players as bait, Parker must fight through red tape and questions to seek answers no one wants to give him before the killer strikes again.

A perfect combination of murder mystery and thriller meets LitRPG. The worlds and plots run parallel, their overlap becoming clearer as the in-depth plot continues to explore events in the ‘Real-Real’ (the real world) that mirror those in Metaverse, or more specifically, in The Land of Might and Magic. Daniel Burke sets a perfect pace, combining the exploits of Shea, our resident LMM player, with those of the FBI’s Parker Reid and those working for Xperion, all unfolding and combining pieces of the jigsaw for the readers to slot into place and build the bigger picture. Character development, both in-game and in the Real-Real is brilliantly handled, the attachment gamers have to their avatars is something only a true gamer understands, and this is perfectly summarized. The threat is real; the gamers have their livelihoods being wiped out by the Anomaly when their game is red-screened. But in the Real-Real, people are losing their lives. I loved the character development, and the leg work put into overcoming roadblocks and obstacles to uncover the truth. Secrets, lies, hidden agendas, and threats hide in every chapter of Red Screen, creating a story you won’t want to put down.

Divine Zape

Red Screen by Daniel Burke presents a complex world where the line blurs between virtual reality and the physical reality of the characters. Xperion is a company that created the Land of Might and Magic, and many people are addicted to this game. One of the top players of the game is Shea Britton, a woman whose world comes alive when she plays the game. Her life in the physical world is not as exciting — no love life and no adventure. But what she doesn't know is that there is a killer in the real world and the clues the killer leaves behind lead to the world where Shea thrives. Parker, a top FBI profiler, is out to track the killer. Could the killer be the same person who is beating everyone, even Shea's Darshana in the game? Angela, one of the creators of the game, is stunned when Parker shows up. The Gray Warrior that has been taking out characters in the game might be close to home and not only is he a threat to the Land of Might and Magic but to other players as well, including Shea. But who is this monster that kills people in their beds?

Daniel Burke is a great storyteller who demonstrates a strong ability to meld the world of science fiction with the complex realities of ordinary life. The virtual world is gorgeously painted in this fascinating tale and the author immerses readers — even those who don't play virtual games — in what it looks and feels real. In a world where virtual reality is fast taking over the lives of people, this novel is a cautionary tale against distorted reality. Red Screen features a stellar sleuth at work and fans of thrillers and tales featuring serial killers will be hypnotized by the twisty, well-imagined, and superbly executed plot. The writing is crisp and the characters are complex. The juxtaposition between virtual reality and real life invites readers to rethink the place of technology in their lives. This novel has an irresistible appeal to fans of detective novels and thrilling science fiction.