The Sam Browne

Fiction - Thriller - General
252 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Lieutenant Doug Emery is on the hunt for an elusive serial killer who never leaves fingerprints or any evidence other than the mutilated bodies of his victims. Tired and frustrated, Doug spends time at a bar one evening when a strange man-who later called himself Sam Browne-offers his help to crack the case. The seasoned investigator soon finds out that the killer was responsible for the infamous butchery in the past which earned him the name Jack the Ripper. It’s a piece of information that gives Doug hope of stopping the killer once and for all, but will he and his unlikely partner get the killer in time before another life is claimed?

Set in 1970s Michigan, with flashbacks to late 19th-century Whitechapel, London, Thomas Stacey’s The Sam Browne is a sci-fi crime thriller where a noble mission to save the heritage of a civilization from another planet took a horrible turn. I found the alternative approach to the Jack the Ripper mystery fascinating and refreshing. Written in a straightforward narrative and clear prose, the plot is streamlined and has a solid pace. The characters have distinct personalities and motivations, including relatable strengths and flaws. Doug Emery is a no-nonsense investigator who's easily likable, and Stacey humanized the killer's weaknesses in some aspects that I found intriguing. The element of suspense is high, especially towards the end, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall, The Sam Browne is an entertaining read and by the way the story concludes, readers can surely expect a sequel.

Steven Robson

Thomas Stacey’s The Sam Browne follows the investigation of a serial killer terrorizing Michigan through the brutal murders of young female college students. Little progress has been made by Lieutenant Doug Emery in tracking down this sick individual, who appears to be particularly intelligent and calculating in the execution of these crimes, until he is approached by a mysterious man who assumes the name Sam Browne. Sam offers to help in the investigation and makes it clear he has knowledge that will help apprehend the murderer. What comes next for Doug is a shocking revelation that will change his entire outlook on life, and eventually lead to a climactic encounter with both the killer and the future of the entire human race.

The Sam Browne was an interesting journey covering a great span of time. It delves back to the era of Jack the Ripper, immersing the reader in that dark period of history and relating those incidents through to the current murders being investigated. The atmosphere created around the characters and events felt real and you could almost feel the fog seeping into existence as you followed the adventure. The way Doug and his assistant Sargent Escareno (Reno) faced each new twist and dealt with it was very believable and true to human nature and the plot line. When I finished this book I was left with the thought that whilst the work was fiction, it could not be ruled out as a possibility that lingers in your mind.

K.C. Finn

The Sam Browne is a work of multi-genre fiction by author Thomas Stacey, comprising historical and modern fiction, science fiction and speculative concepts, thriller and crime fiction. This intriguing combination comes about when our main character, the police investigator Doug Emery, teams up with the unusual Sam Browne to investigate a series of murders. When he discovers that the killings are reminiscent of those undertaken a hundred years earlier by none other than Jack the Ripper, a startling supernatural discovery comes to the fore. The infamous ‘Jack’ is not of this earth, and Sam Browne may be the only one who can help our investigator stop him from killing again.

This is an unusual take on the Ripper storyline that will please readers looking for unique genre mash-ups and new science fiction and historical combinations to enjoy. Author Thomas Stacey ties together the real facts of the past with his imagined future world, and the planets beyond it, creating a credible plot which combines the thrill of chasing a serial killer with the intrigue of an intergalactic mystery novel. The characters are somewhat secondary to this plot-driven thrill ride, but suitably well developed to root for them during the dangerous moments, of which there are plenty. Doug and Sam lead a classic seventies’ style crime pairing from one brutal scene to another, leading to a very well-written race against time conclusion. Overall, The Sam Browne is not to be missed if you’re a fan of new twists on old legends.

Divine Zape

The Sam Browne by Thomas Stacey is a crime thriller with strong historical hints, a narrative that features one of the most terrifying serial killers that ever lived. The name Jack the Ripper will always remind criminologists of the goriest side of humans. In this thriller, Michigan State Police investigator Doug Emery is confronted with serial killings that are similar to those orchestrated by Jack the Ripper in the slums of Whitechapel in the 1880s. Teaming up with Sam Browne, he tries to unearth the mysterious killer. But who is Sam Browne and what is his relationship with Jack the Ripper?

Thomas Stacey weaves a tale that is as engrossing as it is terrifying, infusing it with elements of mystery and horror. The descriptions are terrific and the acts of the killer captured with forensic clarity. I particularly enjoyed how the author plunges readers into the mind of the serial killer, a man supposedly on a sick mission to study the “human egg.” From the very start of the narrative, the reader encounters the killer and gets a glimpse of his terrifying mindset: “The streets of Whitechapel were much as they appear today. Although the fear that smothered them in 1888 has disappeared, the mystery returns as does the heavy fog. His deeds were known throughout history as some of the vilest, yet he knew that they had a noble purpose and he was chosen because of his scientific skills.”

The Sam Browne is well crafted with short chapters and focused scenes. The setting is well explored and readers will have clear images in their minds of where the action takes place. Thomas Stacey’s storytelling skills are exemplified in this thriller and it is astounding how the author picks elements of history and weaves them into a story that feels as real as it is terrifying. Suspenseful and full of entertainment.