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The Roach: A Dark Vigilante Thriller Kindle Edition
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- "A world worthy of being a sister city to Gotham. Gritty, grimy, and mesmerizing."--Actor Lou Diamond Phillips (Prodigal Son, La Bamba)
- "White-knuckled and unfiltered. The Roach plunges you into the filth of the city and holds you under."--James S. Murray, #1 Bestselling author of the Awakened series, and star of truTV's Impractical Jokers.
- "What would happen if Batman was in a wheelchair, drunk, and broke? Surviving in the big city, and taking on crime is tough enough when you're at the top of your game. 'The Roach' is about being at the bottom. Great narration and dialogue, Rhett C. Bruno brings to life a character who'd rather be dead... or at least has a death wish."-- Darick Robertson, co-creator of The Boys (now a Prime Original Series)
- "A dark and powerful journey into the broken mind of a crippled vigilante, clawing his way out of despair to protect his legacy and his city. Reader beware: once you crack this novel open, you won't be able to close it!"--Jeremy Robinson, NYT Bestselling author of Tribe and The Others
- "The Roach dives into the psyche of a vigilante like I've never seen before. Captivating! I couldn't put it down."--Matthew Medney, CEO of Heavy Metal Magazine
- "A grim but riveting deconstructed superhero tale."--Kirkus Reviews
- "A masterful blend of thriller, mystery, and dark comedy."--San Francisco Book Review
- "The Roach is an unlikely, and at times unhinged, hero who is someone the working class can both empathize with, and cheer on as he continues to fight regardless of the obstacles thrown in his way."--Colin F. Barnes, Bestselling author of the Codebreakers Series
- "Sparked by Bruno's precise prose, sparkling dialogue, and the chemistry between Reese and Laura, The Roach is one of the year's best thrillers."--Bestthrillers.com
- "A dyed in the wool, no-holds-barred, old-school vigilante. Absolutely badass!"--Jeffery H. Haskell, author of Arsenal
- "It's rare that a novel leaves you glued to your seat, wanting to read it again, but The Roach is certainly one of them..."--Book Viral
- Winner of the 2020 Best Indie Book Award for Action / Adventure
- Independent Audiobook Award Winner for best Thriller/Suspense
- First Place Winner 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
- Silver Medal in the 2021 IPPY Awards (Mystery/Thriller eBook Category)
- Finalist for the 2020 Millennium Book Award
- Named a Best Thriller of 2020 by Bestthrillers.com
- ASIN : B08H5T7DQJ
- Publisher : Aethon Books (December 8, 2020)
- Publication date : December 8, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 2790 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 306 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #423,402 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The following is part of my review of that original short story plus my thoughts of the new one on both paper and audio.
“The Roach” original is one of the very best short stories I’ve ever read.
My father introduced it to me a long long time ago.
He loved it. It said something to him down deep.
I’m his daughter and I love the short story too.
I see what my Dad saw.
My father constantly harassed the author, the superb “Rhett Bruno”, to write a new, full story. To bring back the roach.
He finally relented and brought forth this new “The Roach” story.
Mr. Bruno finally did this, much to my pleasure and excitement.
The original short story was written way back before my father fell critically ill.
Now he won’t get to see this new book, but I’ll still try and read it to him. He deserves it.
He’s no longer mentally capable to read it for himself.
He won’t get to listen to this awesome audio version either and that’s a shame because RC Bray did an absolutely awesome performance narrating this fantastic story also!
My hats off to Mr. Bray.
My father’s story is sad and the short story, as well as the newer version, is sad, heartbreaking, but then again heartwarming, hopeful.
It’s the realism that makes it so excellent to me, as it was back when my father first read it to me.
It shows us the dirty side of life that most of us never see, but also the good in some people too.
Just like the original short, this new version is much the same in its excellence and is about a modern superhero vigilante way past his prime or maybe he’s really just a criminal.
Fair or unfair?
Figuring that out is up to you.
This new book titled just “The Roach” instead of the older short story titled “The Roach Rises” is everything I’d hoped it would be.
It’s got all the depth and detail of the first story but expands it in an awesome new direction.
This book is not to be missed.
Sure, it’s fiction, but it tells and shows the seedy underside of the human condition.
There are countless cities just like this one with real people instead of fictional characters, but they’re all one in the same.
Mr Bruno is an excellent author who knows how to give his stories, especially this one, enough realism to make you wonder how some people, a lot of people, can do things to others in such a cruel and guiltless way.
It’s what serial killers, rapists and murderers are made of. No conscience at all. Brains wired all wrong.
This is simply an excellent story.
In a way, it’s a fun read, but it’s also a wicked and horrible look into places most decent people either don’t know about or don’t want to confess knowing about. Turn the other cheek, it’s easier.
I loved this new book. I hope you do too.
Please read it and review it.
Just like the first story, this new one deserves your praise or your displeasure.
You get to choose.
Read on if you’re interested in the audiobook version:
That was my review of the paper version of The Roach.
This audio version brings it to life, something just reading it simply can’t do especially with a superb narrator like RC Bray bringing his full talent to bare.
This audiobook is special. It’s a must for those who love to listen instead of reading.
I wholeheartedly give this audio version five stars out of five!
Thank you Mr. Bruno and thank you for your stellar performance Mr. Bray!
Iron City is like a lot of places, which its rich parts, that are always taken care of by the Local Governments, and then, the poorer, run down parts, where the lower socio-economic population live, as well as the Crime Gangs, the Druggies, and in this case, The Roach.
This is a really fascinating story, and whilst it is in the genre of Sci-Fi as it kind of fits into the ‘Superhero’ story genre, the story itself actually is actually more of a Psychological Thriller, with elements of Mystery, Crime, and a little bit of Horror.
Bruno has written a gritty, and powerful story, of what happens to a ‘Superhero’, when they lose their superpowers.
Without giving too much away, this is what has happened to The Roach – for even though he was just a ‘Man’, he was shot in the spine one night, rescuing a young woman who was being viciously raped, and this has left him totally paralysed from the waist down, unable to use his legs or anything else. As such, The Roach is unable to be the Vigilante he used to be.
Now, he is just Reese Roberts, an irritable, foul mouthed, alcoholic, trapped in his wheel chair, and unable to act upon those that he sees tearing his city apart.
The story moves back and forth, telling parts of The Roach’s history, various things that have happened in his past, as well as aspects of Reese Robert’s past, and of course, there is the current story now, set about 5yrs after the incident that fateful night.
There was an interesting chain of events that occurred that fateful night, for the girl that was raped, not only fell pregnant, but she was also the daughter of Iron City’s Mayor.
As a result, 5yrs later, she has a little girl whom she loves dearly, and, for saving her life, and coming to her aid, Laura, the woman, tries to look after Reese, even though he would rather just drink himself to death. The Mayor would certainly rather he did. The only person who came out of it happy, was the young Police Officer, who, for bringing down the man who raped the Mayor’s daughter, and saving her, quickly rose through the ranks of the Police, under the eyes of the Mayor of course, Nepotism and Corruption are a wonderful thing.
So 5yrs later, when someone emerges pretending to be The Roach again, and taking credit for cleaning up a couple of crimes, which then leads to multiple gruesome murders, Reese has to put aside his misery, and become what he has not been able to for so long, Iron City’s Guardian, the real Roach.
And thus begins a rather frantic race against time to try and hunt down this killer, before he kills again, and again, or kills someone Reese knows and cares about.
It is a really interesting story in one way, in that being a huge fan of Batman, I found myself comparing the two stories, two ordinary men as such, putting on a costume, and becoming brutal, rather bloodthirsty vigilantes based on the tragedies that were their childhoods. I won’t go into too much detail or comparison, as it will give too much away, but it would make for a really fun book report (you know, apart from the fact that the parents or teachers might have an aneurism over the subject matter and the adult content of the story “Hey Mum, I got a book report on Comparing Vigilantes who beat up criminals who rob and rape people – awesome hey!!” Maybe I’ll do the book report?)
But the comparisons are really fascinating at a psychological level, and it would make for a very interesting discussion.
It again, just goes to show how intricate and complex Bruno’s story and Character is.
Bruno long ago established himself as a master in character driven story telling with his other series such as the Buried Goddess Saga, and the Children of Titan, but this takes him to a whole new level, and shows just how clever he really is, and how brilliant an Author he is. The Character of Roberts/The Roach, is such a stunning look into the mind of a man who is a damaged, psychopathic killer, but at the same time, he has such a strong sense of justice, and such a strong moralistic code, that he controls this psychopathic element, only unleashing it on those that he believes that are truly unworthy of living for their crimes against other people. The Character is so beautifully written, and I really don’t want to give too much away, but he is one of the most powerful characters I have read in a very long time, and the intricate detail that Bruno goes into with his thought processes are truly fascinating. It is so unusual to get to read about what runs through the mind of a character such as this, because mostly, we only get to read about their actions from the point of view of another party, not from the First Person point of view. It has made for an exceptionally thrilling story, and one that you just won’t be able to put down. I will give him one thing though, he does have a wicked sense of humour.
There are numerous other Characters in this story, Laura as I have mentioned, but there is are multiple others. I am not going to mention them individually, as I do not want to give away any spoilers, you will find out about all these characters as you read the story. I just wanted to say, that each of the Characters in this story, are extraordinary, it is not often that you come across a book that has a Main Character that is one of the best Characters you have ever read, but then you have this entire supporting cast that are just as sensational, and it is totally mind blowing.
It would be very difficult to make this into a movie, as the quality of actors they would need to play these parts would be spectacular.
The other thing that Bruno has down really well, is the handling of Bruno’s disability, and use of his wheelchair. Having a chronic back injury myself, and at times, having been restricted to a wheelchair due to nerve damage in my legs and being unable to walk, (although I must state, that I cannot fully empathise with what it must be like to be fully paralysed from the waste down, I have that to look forward to in the years to come – but I just wanted to point out my empathy to anyone in that situation), I can say that Bruno did a spectacular job of describing just how difficult it is to get around in a chair, and how sore your hands and arms feel. Even, after being so active (I was a Police Officer for 11yrs, who used to run every 2nd day), who utterly despondent it can make you feel. But again, Bruno’s writing is just masterful, he has obviously done a lot of research to make sure that he can make this as realistic as possible.
And that realism has also extended to all aspects of his world-building, there is so much incredible detail in every aspect of this book, from his descriptions of the city, to even just the streets, they are done so well, you feel like you are in one of the filthy back alleys, you can smell it, he describes it with so much depth, you can almost taste it. You can feel The Roaches pain, see his hideout, and smell the bleach in the stark white hospitals. This is a brutally in-depth story, and it is so well done.
I will give a warning for anyone that has a history of violence, there is a lot of very graphic violence in this book, including some rape scenes, and given who intense, just who real these are represented and portrayed by Bruno’s incredibly skilled writing, it may upset some readers.
For most though, you are in for a truly incredible experience that you will not forget, and one, that days later, weeks later, you are going to be thinking about just how thrilling, inspired and just how authentic this story was.
This will be one of those books that wins awards for2021, as it is easily going to be one of the best books written for 2021. If you love a good Psychological Thriller, Superhero Story, if you have ever loved Batman, or just like a good Vigilante story, or just like a really great story full stop – read this, you won’t be disappointed. (Or better yet, listen to it, R.C. Bray was incredible)
I love a good super-hero style of story, and an action packed vigilante trope is my jam! Reese Roberts was once the dynamic Protector of Iron City, but after being laid out by a broken spine he's now an all but forgotten memory. He's just another paraplegic in a wheelchair... a has-been!
Reese is ready to end it all, when a beat-down happens within earshot, and it turns out that Reese might not quite be ready to throw in the towel just yet!
This is a gritty, noir, crime fighting story! A perfect book to show off Rhett Bruno's mad writing skills! A story that comes to life told from Reese's point-of-view as he gives us the tale with both present day events and a judicious use flashbacks while the story unfolds, giving us a well-rounded understanding of who Reese really is!
And wow, I gotta' say... Get the audio version, because RC Bray nails it! For me, RC Bray IS Reese Roberts! I Loved this one... Absolutely!!!
And don't forget Rhett Bruno! He doesn't give away anything 'til he's ready, holding a final card against his chest only revealing it just before the epilogue! And that my friends just about knocked me silly! A really good ending, is just waiting for You to pick it up and read!
Top reviews from other countries
Now onto the review.
The Roach tells the story of a washed up vigilante confined to a wheel chair after his last rescue. No friends, no millions or rich and powerful friends to rely on. His only true friend is his next bottle of whiskey and even that company is turning sour. But things begin to change when he hears one more cry for help.
The story gives off vibes more in line with The Watchmen and a Raymond Chandlers Noir detective novels more than a super hero novel, seeping grit with every page. Yet while I name these other works, this is truly something of its own. The pacing is solid, the character exploration and develop is well constructed bringing each person alive from the page. An amazing narrative that will keep even those who may feel saturated with the genre, entertained.
Now that sounds all really negative. Nope, he is rather dark and bitter but the story isn't. There might be a bit of a glimmer of a redemption and that keeps you listening. It's the other characters that he encounters that I find rather intriguing and their story after he interacts with you are left to develop in your own imagination.
I don't normally read books that are in this realm but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Rhett C Bruno is a master story teller and when he lets his imagine run riot I love to follow the words.