Tuesday Thriller! Fear is the Rider by Kenneth Cook



“…get us out of here, for God’s sake get us out of here quick!”

She was still staring wildly into the scrub. Her fear seeped into his spine. There was something there in the low trees, something terrible…

Tuesday Thriller white gunslinger

It’s 50 degrees centigrade outside as John Shaw is driving over one of the most dangerous roads in the Australian outback, and there isn’t a house within two hundred kilometres. A terrified girl has run out in front of his vehicle, running for her life. Now they’re racing along the track, but someone is behind them, and he’s catching up…

Woo! A non-stop thrill-fest indeed! The author jumps right into the story so that from the first paragraph the tension starts ratcheting up. John’s driving a Honda, not built for this terrain. The Man has taken Katie’s Land Cruiser – bigger and tougher. The only advantage John and Katie have is that their car is faster, so long as the road is good. But this road doesn’t sound good at all…

Danger sign

Neither of them have any idea why the Man wants to kill them. In fact, they can’t even be sure he’s a man – he’s huge and hairy and smells rancid, like decaying flesh. (I think I met him up the dancin’ once.) And he doesn’t seem to be in a very good mood. They don’t have time to speculate – all they can do is keep driving and hope they can put enough distance between them to get to safety before they’re caught. But they’re heading the wrong way – straight into the danger zone – and they can’t turn round because HE’S BEHIND THEM!!!

fear is the rider


Brilliant stuff – pure action from beginning to end. Cook doesn’t give us any explanations or much character development, either of which would just serve to slow the pace. Fortunately John knows cars and is a skilful driver. Once Katie gets over her initial terror, she pulls her weight too, and she knows more about the Outback than John. But neither of them is a superhero – just two ordinary people caught up in an insane terror. The pacing is great – it never lets up! It’s novella length and definitely one to be read in one sitting – no chapters, just a heart-pounding race with a new peril thrown in every few pages, leading up to a truly fab climax. Phew! A thriller that’s actually thrilling and isn’t trying to be anything else – great stuff! I’m off to lie down in a darkened room for a while now…

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Text Publishing.


* * * * *

Yippee Ki Yay rating:     😮 😮 😮 😮 😮


It's a Bruce!
It’s a Bruce!

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

49 thoughts on “Tuesday Thriller! Fear is the Rider by Kenneth Cook

  1. Yikes! This sounds like a lot of fun! And that hairy, smelly ‘man’ does sound quite familiar – we must go dancing at the same places 😉 Good to see a young Bruce gracing this post, too!


  2. My goodness, what a ride, FictionFan! It certainly sounds as though it’s a non-stop, lightning-paced thriller. Perhaps you should lie down, and then when you wake up, watch your grass grow for a bit or something until your heart rate slows. In all seriousness, it’s nice to have a thriller that’s not dependent on implausible superhero characters or non-step ugly violence.


    • Yep, just a straight chase story, but done really well! Haha! I must admit I was flicking those Kindle pages at a phenomenal speed at parts… 😉 Absolutely, and also no romance, no swearing and a complete absence of bodily functions! Bliss!


  3. Whoa! That is hot. Goodness. I’d die of thirst and exhaustion. Wait. Do you think it was the Wendigo? Nah. Couldn’t be. Wendy’s live in the cold, I thought. Maybe it’s a monster like bigfoot? But then…could it drive?

    Bruce Willis! Always good to see him about.


  4. Thrill-a-minute stuff! Sounds like one for a very slow Sunday. That hairy, smelly man has clearly haunted the dancin’ for decades. 🙂


  5. Yippee Ki Yay! How very American of you!

    Why are they always behind you? Killers/Madman really need to charge more often. Like Hay Yaw! And what if the killer smelled good, was dashing and had a fine set of teeth? He’d probably get real close to them and alleviate all this chasing business. Then POW!

    (I suppose this is why I’m not a thriller writer. It would be terrible stuff!!!)


    • I admit – Americans do thrillers better than Brits! But the Aussies are pretty good too – G’Day, Mate doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Yippee Ki Yay though…

      Hahaha! I don’t know – I think it sounds as if you’ve got the basis of a great thriller there! And I must admit a nice clean well-mannered monster would make a refreshing change! I see no reason why one should let personal hygiene slip just because one is a subhuman homicidal maniac, do you?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one, FF — it sounds like something that should be on my TBR. I enjoy a good thriller, and leaving off all the characterization and parts folks tend to skip in order to get to “the good stuff” seems like it works. I’m practically breathless myself, just from reading your fast-paced review, ha!


    • I love thrillers too, but like crime books they’ve got so long over the last few years that they end up not being very thrilling! This one is just the right length to get stuck into on a free evening. Haha! I’m still running… and checking over my shoulder… 😉


    • I think it would make a brilliant movie! Hmm… I’m so out of touch with the current crop of filmstars I’d find it hard to pick, but two people who could play fairly ordinary people rather than superfit superheroes. It was their ordinariness that made this work so well… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I’m not sure I buy “Her fear seeped into his spine.” I tend to look at body part emotions with a jaundiced eye. When the organs start emoting, it pulls me out of the story because I spend time trying to visualize what’s happening and start thinking that it’s just too silly. Now, if I were to come across this phrase when I’m fully immersed in the story, I don’t know if it would jar me or not. But I’m only one reader in a land of billions.


Please leave a comment - I'd love to know who's visiting and what you think...of the post, of the book, of the blog, of life, of chocolate...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.