Punishment (Detective Barnes #1) by Scott J Holliday

Punishment - El Dia de los Muertos
Detective Barnes #1
Scott J Holliday
Mursder Mystery, Horror
Thomas & Mercer
1st February 2018
Kindle Unlimited
240 pages ( paperback)
Kindle unlimited

This is a very late review and it is about time I got my shit together and wrote it… so here it goes!

Do you want to know what it’s like to die, to kill, to really fear for your life? Then get hooked…

Detroit-based homicide detective John Barnes has seen it all—literally. Thanks to a technologically advanced machine, detectives have access to the memories of the living, the dying, and the recently dead. But extracting victims’ experiences firsthand and personally reliving everything up to the final, brutal moments of their lives—the sights, the sounds, the scents, the pain—is also the punishment reserved for the criminals themselves.

Barnes has had enough. Enough of the memories that aren’t his. Enough of the horror. Enough of the voices inside his head that were never meant to take root…until a masked serial killer known as Calavera strikes a little too close to home.

Now, with Calavera on the loose, Barnes is ready to reconnect, risking his life—and his sanity. Because in the mind of this serial killer, there is one secret even Barnes has yet to see…




The fact that this cover attracted me. has no bearing upon my view of this book, it is a stunning cover , you have to admit that!

This was a book that was suggested to me via my kindle and I was in the mood for a gruesome gritty murder and boy did I get it.

I read this book with an instagram buddy of mine , Maria, who loves to bake and read, probably at the same time 😛

She is called bemis_reviews_books if you want to see what she thought about this book, click here and it will magically take you there.


This is a dark, psychological thriller with some gore intertwined into the pages, staining it quite red!

It is a serial killer novel and the weapon of choice is a pickaxe, which is frequently plunged into some poor unsespecting victim, at first we think, his choice of victims are random, but after a while, we learn that he picks his victims carefully, they all are guilty of neglecting a deceased loved one and not visiting them at their gravesite.

The reason why the cover is so colourful is that the killer wears a ‘sugar mask’  which is worn at a festival popular in Mexico and celebrates family and friends who have passed onto the realm of the dead. It is called El dia De los Muertos which litterally translates as ‘Day of the Dead’

When I read, I am visual, mening that when the words are being read, it almost like plays along like a mini movie in my minds eye and the thought of someone appearing in my home brandishing a pickaxe over my head, wearing said mask was not a pleasant one, I can tell you!

Detective Barnes is a mess in this book and whilst reading, makes you wonder how he gets along from day to day and from bottle to another, but as we read onwards learn that he drinks to try and dull memories from his childhood.

I have read alot of detective stories and alot seems to be alcoholics, but he was not boring as there is a slant to his detective work, welcome THE MACHINE!

A device that can plug you up the the victim, and you relive thier final moments, he feels them, hears them and everytime he is put onto this machine, takes away part of them with him, the book is full of conversations he has with the people he annexes in his mind.

I could blabb for a while about the nuences of this book and reference certain plot details, but that would be no fun at all, as you shouls go and find out ofr yourself, If you have KINDLE UNLIMITED then you can get it for free, so why not pick it up and makes friends with Barnes and journey with him to catch the killer.

An enjoyable read, if you do not mind the gore.

An interesting concept with the machine, brings an almost Sci fi touch to the book.

The writing style is readable and not over wordy.


Hope you have a Booktastic day and hope to see you again soon!