The N.M.E.


Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
310 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The N.M.E. is a psychological thriller written in verse by Ryan A. Kovacs. Michael Ennis, a violent criminal incarcerated in a maximum-security prison, lives a harrowing life, driven only by the desire to exact vengeance on his murderous father, who he wishes to kill. Living in a brutal environment with tyrannical guards and violent inmates, Michael's only source of support is his childhood friend Bruno. Alongside Bruno and a headstrong psychologist named Arlene, Michael concocts an audacious plan to break free and hunt down his father. However, his plans hit a massive hurdle in the form of the head guard, Johnny Boy, who can't help but make Michael's life a living hell as much as he can. Additionally, Michael's past haunts every moment of his life.

Violent, surreal, and dripped in suspense and intrigue, reading Ryan A. Kovacs' poetic thriller feels like watching a movie directed by Nicholas Winding Refn. The N.M.E. hooks you in from the first page and refuses to let go until the end. With a blend of post-modern verses and an intricate plot, Kovacs crafts an enthralling narrative filled with twists and turns that you never see coming. The characters have defining traits that overwhelm their personalities and pop out of the page. They are larger than life and add to the surreal nature of the narrative. Kovacs never shies away from the violent sequences and describes them in vivid detail that paints quite a picture in your head. It may remind you of Quentin Tarantino's action scenes. I had an absolute blast reading The N.M.E. and recommend it to anyone interested in psychological thrillers with an experimental narrative style.

K.C. Finn

The N.M.E. is a work of fiction in the psychological thriller subgenre. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by author Ryan A. Kovacs. The book follows a prison inmate named Michael who is determined to escape from prison and murder his own father. As Michael carefully plans his moves against his father, his mind becomes a twisted game being played against someone who is part memory and part imagination. Assisted in his escape by fellow inmate Bruno, Michael sets about his twisted work with complete conviction that there is nothing and no one able to stop him from succeeding.

The N.M.E. immediately stands out amongst others for the fascinating way that it portrays Michael's inner thoughts through verse rather than standard prose. This meticulous sense of order to Michael's thoughts amplifies the portrait of him as a damaged and deranged individual single-mindedly pursuing his goal. As the story unfolds, Ryan A. Kovacs spins Michael's thoughts and feelings about the twists and turns in his journey into an intricate yet tangled web of mania and obsession that left me questioning just how many of the narrator's words were true. It’s a difficult task to stand out in the thriller market but The N.M.E. does this with its in-depth profiling of a despicable character that sometimes verges on sympathetic before suddenly flipping the script and reminding us that we are in the mind of a monster. Overall, I recommend The N.M.E. to all fans of psychological thrillers, and to any readers who’ve wanted a deeper dive into the mind of a killer than I’ve ever seen done successfully on the page before now.

Anelynde Smit

The N.M.E. by Ryan A. Kovacs is one of the most interesting books I have read. Not only is it a great story of revenge and perseverance but the use of poetry to tell the story is something I had never seen before. We start our story with Bruno, and we learn more about him, his appearance, his skills, and his bloodthirsty nature. We are then introduced to a prison psychologist, Arlene, who has sessions with a man named Michael Ennis. Slowly a bond forms between them, and a plan to kill his father comes to light. His past is one of abuse and the death of his mother. Lines are blurred and as Arlene's notes suggest, she slowly starts to weave between right and wrong. The inevitable escape arrives but will everything go according to plan? Will this girl make the wrong moves and was Bruno a good partner to have?

The N.M.E. by Ryan A. Kovacs was very different from what I had expected. I was getting ready for a full-blown novel but was very surprised when I saw poems detailing everything. It was like reading the thoughts and secrets of another person, entering the mind of a man on the verge of madness. The ending took me by surprise, a very interesting ending which will shock most people. The poems themselves are not typical poems; they were not structured as the rules of poetry suggest you use, they were more freestyle. It was sometimes a little hard to follow who was speaking, but in the end, it all came together. As a lover of poetry, I found that I read this in my mind with an accent, a southern accent to be precise. For a moment I was Bruno or Michael or even Arlene. It sucks you in and it doesn’t let you go without impressing you. This was by far the most interesting experience as a reader; very unconventional and experimental. I was pleasantly surprised and caught completely off guard. Great read.