Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

Punishment by Scott J Holliday


John Barnes is a homicide detective who has the luck of living in an era of technology involving ‘the machine’. When it comes to murder, the police rush the machine to the scene. There they attach the victim to the machine where their last thoughts and sights are captured. Often the murderer is brought to justice without a lot of fuss. John happens to be one who is able to relay what is recorded.

Unfortunately, no one has discovered what someone like John is supposed to do with all the memories that linger in his mind. He drinks heavily to subdue the voices and even though his co-workers are aware that he walks a thin line, he continues to take calls for the machine. John is especially drawn to his job when a serial killer, dubbed the Pickax Man by the media, attacks several families. As the body count grows, John thinks he may have answers to some of the questions on this case.

This is a great thriller. There is murder galore, the chase, the interesting woman, what drives the killer, and what John Barnes does with the whole interesting mess.


  • Genre and reading age – Suspense, Thriller for adults and older teens.
  • Level of sexuality – Low.
  • Is there Graphic language? Yes.
  • Did I cry? No.
  • Did I laugh? No.
  • Is this part of a series? Yes, Detective Barnes.
  • Level of character development – Characters are well developed.

I enjoyed the suspense of this book. It’s very different from most thrillers and I highly recommend it. I gladly give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Available here on Amazon

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