When Ravens Fall - Reviews.
Violence, Crime, Drug Addiction and Sex
22 Mar 2013: 5 star Amazon Review by MiasBeck
If you want to read this book you should be prepared for violence, crime, drug addiction and sex (consensual and forced).
The main character, Sean, is active as a drug dealer (and -consumer), pimp and thug in Essex, England and is trying to build himself a name, especially in front of the other criminals. He lives out his violent and sexual fantasies from the full.
At the same time he also has a love affair with Rachel. They get together again, not coincidentally, after she left him several years ago.
Rachel does not know about Sean’s criminal career and in her presence his violent nature seems to disappear. After a tragedy that took place in Sean’s family, Rachel raises doubts about his personality and it comes to the inevitable showdown.
A sequel novel (with or without Sean won’t be revealed) would be possible and I would welcome it.
Interestingly enough there are no "good guys" (a.k.a. law enforcement) in this story, only "bad guys".
One of the issues in the background is the question of free will that a person has (or has not), and that will determine our actions.
Is there a free will, or are we determined alone by fate and destiny? In other words, can we ever be held responsible for the consequences of our actions?
This book doesn’t give an answer to these questions, as expected. These issues are completely unresolved, at least to me.
Matilda Wren’s Harrowing Tale of a Monster and His Beauty
04 Feb 2013: 4 star Amazon Review by John Carl Anderson
An animated film version of the traditional fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" was presented in 1991 for children by Disney. It was brought to the Broadway stage in 1994 by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice from a book by Linda Woolverton. American composer Vittorio Giannini set the old story to music again in 2012, this time as an opera. It gave the kids who saw it a charming, undemanding entry point to grand opera. My favorite adaptation of all is still Jean Cocteau’s 1948 film, "La Belle et la Bête."
Now new English novelist Matilda Wren’s has put her mind, professional training, and skilled, sensitive hand to the tale. Her variation, When Ravens Fall, is not for children. This is a chilling page-turner distinguished by brilliant psychological suspense. Ms. Wren’s beast is a monster, a cunning, willful sociopath. Her beauty is a romantic fueled only by her natural passion and desire for a pure and complete love. From page one, these two disparate lovers are headed for a bloody collision in a harrowing novel that could serve as the libretto for a tragic opera.
When Ravens Fall is a feast of morbid blood-letting passion as each lover battles for the other’s soul. Not since Dickens has a British writer so straight-forwardly and accurately told the sad story of England’s urban underclass caught in wrenching poverty and violence. Besides William Trevor, few writers have captured the soul of a sociopath killer like Ms. Wren’s chilling portrait of Sean Fergus, the dreadful beast, and his beauty, Rachel. Ms. Wren combines the pathological with the lyrical in a story that trembles with irony and menace. She obviously has a professional understanding of sinister, disturbed psychology. When Ravens Fall will keep you up all night, reading through to the exquisite end. If only the Brothers Grimm were living and imagining romantic thrillers in Essex and London, this is the tale they’d tell.
WHEN RAVENS FALL by Matilda Wren
03 Dec 2012: Review by Deb Taylor-Rainger
I hadn’t read anything about Matilda Wren or ‘When Ravens Fall’ before loading this book on to my Kindle, so was not sure what to expect. There was nothing to worry about though, I was very pleasantly surprised. The first sentence had me hooked - and by page 2, I couldn’t put it down!
This book is very well written, and absorbs you from the very beginning, making you want to learn more about the main characters and their lives. The story begins in 1997 when we meet Rachel, about whom the entire book is based. Rachel is very beautiful and in a rebound relationship with James following a painful and destructive affair with Sean. The scenes involving Sean are violent and disturbingly graphic, but really important for us to learn about what makes him tick.
In fact, there were moments when I had to put the book down to give myself a break from the scene unfolding in front of me - I always think this is a sign of good writing and a good story, that the words can make that much of an impression!
I don’t want to give the plot away as it will spoil the story for you but this is a passionate, violent love story set over a 10 year period with flash backs to important moments in Rachel’s and Sean’s lives. After their period apart Rachel thinks she has coincidentally met the her soulmate again - not consciously knowing that Sean has manipulated the meeting and, in fact, has been monitoring her whole life up to that point.
Sean is a violent, psychopathic drug dealer who kills anyone in his path with the help of his mentor Kenny, who is there when Sean needs him to clear up the mess. Sean rides rough shod over all those around him, ruining the lives of Ginny and Greg, as well as his family. Sean is a nasty character, and so well written that I was genuinely scared of what he was going to do each time we met him - really not a man you’d want to meet in a brightly lit room, let alone a dark alley!
We have our suspicions about Sean’s psychopathic make up from early in the book, but the story keeps you guessing about his true character until the author is ready to reveal even more details of his twisted, cruel character.
There was always going be a tragic ending, so dark is the story, but I wasn’t sure how Matilda would do it! But it was done well; the story wound up too quickly, and definitely left me wanting more! I can’t wait for another Matilda Wren to read in the future.
A gripping read
30 Aug 2012: 5 star Amazon Review by Chris Fouracres
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I’d never heard of the author but was told it was someone local to me.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was entertaining and compelling from the start.
It’s a dark, gritty tale of the rise of a modern gangster, how he came to be and how his extreme actions effect his friends, family, lovers and perceived enemies.
The characters develop wonderfully as the story is told and their lives are played out with shocking realism.
A great book. Left me wanting more!!
When Ravens Fall By Matilda Wren
24 Aug 2012: Review by Authorhouse UK
Matilda Wren is a young first time Authorhouse UK published author, born and raised in the home county of Essex, England. She is a mother, daughter, sister, auntie and a best friend. After her two children were born, Matilda returned to university to read Psychology, gaining a Bachelor of Science degree. Having studied and practiced Psychology for the past five years and holding a long held interest in human behavior. Matilda has been exposed to a variety of diverse forms of deviant behaviour, in particular abnormal or anti-social conduct. Now she has taken the knowledge and experience she has gained from observing life and her work experience within various criminal settings, coupled with the inspiration she draws from her love of the dark romance and psychological thriller genres, to publish her first novel ‘When Ravens Fall’
In ‘When Ravens Fall’, Matilda has created a dark tale of life in Essex, which shows it isn’t just about the glamour depicted in TOWIE. Away from the ditzy charm, fake tan and false eyelashes, lies a hidden world of drugs, prostitution and violence run by the county’s crime lords. Using her knowledge of Essex she takes us from the leafy avenues of Brentwood to the industrial wastelands of Romford and Barking.
The author has taken this background and inter woven a twisted relationship between a mixed-up girl and a vicious psychopath, under the umbrella of the classic battle of good versus evil.
The fixation and infatuation that two people can have for one another scared her so much she didn’t just run away from it; she bolted, straight into a teenage pregnancy and numerous failed relationships in a bid to forget Sean Fergus. She never really understood why she ran, a little voice in her head told her to and she had listened. So why had she spent the last ten years trying to replace him? Sean however understood it fully. He knew she had to run because he knew what he was, even if she didn’t. He was a monster. There was a dark, vile evil that lived inside him. It made him do wicked things and what made it worse was that the evil force that consumed him, made him enjoy it. Women weren’t safe with him. When Sean meets Rachel again, unexpectedly he sees a tiny glimmer of hope that redemption is possible. But can a person change? Whilst Sean is forced to confront the violence of his past and take on what he sees as the demons that threaten his future, Rachel finally realises why she ran. She knows she has to run again but this time it is for her life not her heart. But will Sean let her go so easily this time?
A hard hitting first novel making first-rate use of the complex areas of the human psyche and relationships from a new young British published author from Authorhouse UK
When Ravens Fall
19 Aug 2012: 5 star Amazon Review by Diane Dibley
This book was recommended to me by a friend and with no previous knowledge of the author was unsure what to expect. I started the book on a Friday only having chance to read for an hour - I picked it up again Saturday night and stayed awake until the small hours of Saturday night / Sunday morning as I had to finish it ! It was a real page turner..I am an avid Martina Cole fan having read all of her books and I drew many parallels to her work in terms of style, content and definitely quality.
Its gritty, shocking in parts but maintains the story throughout helping you to feel for and understand the characters.
I will definitely recommend this book and can’t wait for more from this great new author.