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25 Aug 2008


Pit-Stop written by Ben Larken and published by LL-Publications is Mr Larken’s first published work. At 241 pages and with a layout probably equal to that of a 300 pager, the book appears of reasonable length.

Ben Larken was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where he now resides with his wife, children and pets. He has also lived in Arizona and New Mexico.

The cover art for Pit-Stop by Ben Larken was created by Helen E. H. Madden and stands out with its eerie quality. There is a lot of red colouring which to most will imply blood. The title and author name stand boldly against the backdrop of a red petrol pump reading Total Price $6.66 and a grinning skull above. The cover alone would spark my curiosity and has me wondering exactly what lies in wait.

Above the synopsis are the words Last Chance At Redemption For The Next Million Years...
Having read the four paragraph synopsis I am eager to read this book and I am in no doubt that the last words of the synopsis will ring true. One thing is clear: you’ll think twice before you make your next Pit-Stop.

The plot of the book reads like a bad joke, ten people find themselves in an eerie diner without any memory of how they got there or why, and no way out. All that’s known is what waitress Holly tells them, “A bus is coming”. So how can you escape from somewhere when you have no idea where you are, how long you’ve been there, how you got there and how to leave when even your own mind is telling you to stay where you are.

Mr Larken has created a range of characters so realistic you could be sat there with them in the Pit-Stop amongst them they include a junkie, a cop, and two sisters. What lies in wait for them when the bus finally arrives? And why can’t they leave the Diner until then? Is there life beyond the Pit-Stop Grill? Or is the outside just as terrifying as being stuck inside? One thing’s for certain even in death a cop’s job is never done.

Personally having had the displeasure of both being a waitress and having to wear a name tag, Mr Larken has certainly captured the frustration of the job and any job which carries a name tag, in all its glory in the first few pages alone.

When all is said and done trust at the most darkest and dangerous of times is a hard thing to find when self doubt plays it tormenting games, can the unlikely group band together and conquer the greatest of all enemies, death. Can they out run their fate, maybe change it?

The story is not as predictable as some books with some great twists, turns and u-turns which will have you itching to know what is going to happen. I didn’t want to put the book down for fear of what might happen next. On the downside there are a couple of mistakes with regard to editing but it is so few it does little to hamper the story itself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone above the age of 18 years of age, and I look forward to reading more work by Mr Larken even if it means another visit to the deadliest grill in Arizona. Pit-Stop by Ben Larken definitely gets 4.5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

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