First published back in September of 2014, British author Justin Park’s debut novel ‘Terror Byte’ threw together a gritty thriller with the over-the-top madness of a no-holds-barred pulp.

DLS Synopsis:
Matt knew it was an IT risk to run the software that was on the flash drive he’d found floating towards the storm drains outside the office.  If it held a virus on it then it would undoubtedly cause absolute havoc on his work computer.  But sometimes you just had to take that step into the unknown.  And with this thought in his mind, against his better judgement he clicked on the ‘Execute’ file.

The next thing he knows, everyone’s computer screens have died and the image of a skull has appeared on the main office screen.  Blank faces turn to ones of horror as all around him Matt’s colleagues start to shake and convulse in their chairs; eyes rolling to the back of their heads and drool foaming from their mouths.  As panic ensues a searing flash bursts from all the computer screens, and with that, people start dropping to the floor dead; their lifeless eyes bleeding from their sockets.

When the police arrive on the scene there’s nothing left but the haunting sight of all the dead workers lying in pools of their own blood spread across the entire office floor.  Detective Norton is called in to investigate the cause of such horrific carnage.  But there’s not much to go on other than an office floor covered in dead bodies and a crashed lift with two more destroyed bodies inside.

Still reeling from the death of his girlfriend, Detective Norton’s job is now all he’s got.  But just when he thinks he’s about to lose the case to MI5, a chance meeting with the beautiful but deadly Japanese mercenary known as the Orchid puts him back in the game.

The Orchid knows far more about what’s going on than the police do.  She knows about the lethal computer program that was responsible for slaughtering all the workers in the Areas building.  Nicknamed the Death’s Head program, the software is an undetectable and terrifyingly unstoppable weapon.  Furthermore it seems to have a mind of its own.

Detective Norton is up against one of the most deadly weapons ever created.  And not only that, but now it appears that the Death’s Head program is after him as well…

DLS Review:
Fancy a wildly over-the-top thriller crammed full of enough fast-paced action to make an adrenaline-junkie want to stop for a second to take a breather?  If so, you’ve found a good home with Justin Park’s beast of a debut.

In essence what’ve we’ve got with ‘Terror Byte’ (you’ve gotta love the play-on-words title) is a gritty thriller with a pulp-style attitude of delivering the entertainment factor and not caring too much about keeping things realistic.  It’s wildly exaggerated and it quite frankly takes breath-taking liberties with how much the reader can willingly suspend belief - but if we’re honest that’s all part of the fun.

The novel reads like a no-holds-barred thriller that’s been penned by a cross between Guy N Smith and Shaun Hutson.  It’s got the exaggerated characters permanently grimacing with in-your-face attitude, the gruesome thrills and kills of a blood-hungry-pulp, and above all else, the ridiculously unrelenting pace to power things along with.  Oh yes…this thrill-a-minute-ride packs in the pulpy thriller goodness like there’s absolutely no tomorrow.

The tale kick starts with a pretty damn harrowing scene where the Death’s Head program is unsuspectingly unleashed on all the innocent office workers in the Areas building.  In fact, Park manages to deliver a particularly eerie vision of a mass slaughter that’s instigated via a computer program.  But it’s with the gruesomeness that just keeps on escalating that really bores its way through your flesh.  The horror of it all comes crashing down on you, pulverising your brain over and over again, as Park keeps pounding away with his unrelenting assault on the senses.  This has quickly turned into one nasty, dark thriller with some damn big balls behind it.

Enter hard-boiled anti-hero, Detective Norton, to suss out the situation.  He’s still getting over the recent murder of his long-term girlfriend, Mel, after a whacko blew her brains out with a shotgun.  As you’d expect he’s none too happy with his lot in life.  So expect plenty of attitude.  And of course he’s rather partial to booze and he hates authority.  Basically he’s every protagonist that Shaun Hutson’s ever penned.  But by Lucifer’s short ‘n’ curlies does he enhance an already thoroughly entertaining story just that little bit more.

With the premise set and the plot firmly underway it’s just a case of sitting back and letting Park bombard you with his increasingly chaotic whirlwind of thriller madness.  Of course you’re going to have plenty of ridiculous twists that connect all the story’s pieces in the most unlikely of ways.  In fact, Park pretty much connects all the dots making sure that every single character has some inbred connection to each other in some ludicrous form or another.  But by god you’ve gotta love it all.

What starts out as one mother of a sinister read, turns into a cacophony of wildly over-the-top gritty thriller madness that keeps the foot down on the accelerator throughout.  And it’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride all the way to the pulse-racing end.

The novel runs for a total of 165 pages.

 © DLS Reviews

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