Bleak North - The Website of Author, BARRY LITHERLAND



The story grips you right from the very first chapter and compels you to keep reading. The characters are extremely well developed and relatable, which makes them very likable as well. Barry's writing seamlessly weaves together images of the characters and their interactions with one another. The dialogue between them is spot on and the humor sprinkled throughout the writing is so refreshing. Wonderful job, Barry! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this story, as well as Waves Break on Unknown Shores in the coming days!

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Fantastic read!

This book is an absolute must read. The story is incredibly gripping, the characters expertly built and thee language crisp. I love the humor and imagery used. The writer is a master in the art of writing. I couldn't put the book down. Absolutely loved it. I'm on to your next one right away, Barry! Thank you for such an entertaining read!

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What a Page-turner!

I enjoyed this story immensely. Having read Waves Break on Unknown Shores by Barry Litherland before, I was excited to jump into this story too. The characters are well drawn, the plot riveting. The twists and turns in this story will keep you guessing until the end. While reading, I felt a real Stranger Things vibe coming through. The author has an amazing talent for carrying the story through mainly with the dialogue while still keeping the reader immersed in the setting. I am also in awe of his ability to keep the witty humor of the narrator and the other characters lacing consistently through the narrative, while also doing justice to the seriousness of the dilemmas and predicaments the characters are faced with. A little bit of editing to fix up some typos and grammatical errors would make this the perfect read for those seeking a great mystery/thriller novel. Thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend to a friend.

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Great mystery!

I enjoyed this work from beginning to end! Every chapter gave us a nugget more to the mystery to keep us reading. The imagery when characters are describing their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings were done in a way I had never thought of, and that opened up a brand new way of writing I have never experienced. Great plot, engaging characters, and witty, fascinating descriptors. I'm so glad I agreed to read it!

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I loved it! So much fun! The plot was fantastic. The mystery, the adventure. I loved it all! Great job, Barry!

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Fuck Sam Spade

If you have or if you haven't read Litherland's other novel, WBOUS, this one is equally rewarding. Elmore Leonard's throne has been sitting empty since the great man died, but if anyone's in the running to inherit it, then my money's on Barry. Nobody else writing today - nobody I've stumbled on anyway - can carry a scene through 80% dialogue and not leave it feeling threadbare. Which isn't to say at all that Litherland skimps on his prose because he doesn't. You the reader will know precisely what you're looking at. You will ache for the beautiful girl (whatever your preference outside the realm of this novel). You will wince at every lugnut-knuckled punch thrown by every goon. You will wallow/revel in the protagonist Phil Tyler's signature hybrid of low self-esteem and truly intractable yet non-saccharine optimism. Read this book. Read the other book too. In any order. Crafting good dialogue is a bitch and this is a free master class on how to convey information without sounding mechanical. Pacing is another field where I truly scrutinize Litherland's approach. How to stack all these dramatic beats without it feeling bloated or unrealistic. A few Hollywood screenwriters could stand to learn a thing or two from this guy. On the Mt. Rushmore of great literary detectives (even if he's technically a journalist) Phil Tyler's mediocre visage is chiseled up there alongside Philip Marlowe, Jules Maigret, and Sam Spade. Treat yourself now before you have to pay to read this fucking gem.

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A Gripping Page-Turner

Another Phil Tyler triumph that had me on the edge of my seat! Characters Liz, Slattery and Winston are so well drawn, they are a joy to read. An impressive narrative with a cleverly concealed plot that keeps the reader spiraling down into oblivion along with Phil Tyler. Wonderful literary devices – sarcasm, dialogue, argument – make this a refreshing, realistic, laugh out loud read, just as Waves Break on Unknown Shores. Full of intrigue and intensity, the suspense was drawn out until the very end. Editing is still being done, so I will refrain from considering the errors; they were few and did not detract from the overall read of the book. A real complement to the mystery/thriller/action genre – my congratulations to Barry Litherland for producing such a finely composed work.

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Another Litherland Triumph

Barry Litherland creates such an engaging, engrossing and invigorating Mystery/Action/Thriller in his latest novel, "Shifting Sands", that I literally had to finish it in a single weekend because I couldn't go to work without knowing what would happen next at each turn of the plot. From the very first kernel of action, the thrill ride of this taut drama - with a touch of comedy - bursts from the ground, grows in complexity, scope and scale and sprouts into a virtually impossible conflict that appears to have no conceivable resolution. And yet, as the antagonists crash down on the main characters with all the might and resources of their wealthy, hyper-connected benefactor, Litherland's motley band of would be heroes somehow finds a way to stand up to their adversaries against all odds to persevere. I can honestly say, this story is one of the greatest novels I've ever read here on Inkitt, at a library, in college, at a book store, on a plane, on a beach or anywhere else that I've ever picked up a soft copy and started turning the pages. If you've read Barry's first novel; "Waves Break on Unknown Shores", you'll be thrilled to follow the continued exploits of main character Phil Tyler and his wildly impulsive and unpredictable accomplice Detective Slattery. You'll also thoroughly enjoy meeting his amazing new characters; the savvy journalism guru Liz, the crazy, wild man Winston and the beautiful and tortured love interest Wendy. Like his first novel, Litherland's second effort generates intense stress and tension, letting it out slowly through mind-bending reveals and surprising off-beat humor at all the right spots. It's no wonder, Litherland's first novel is precariously close to a 100% rating on Inkitt. He is literally one of the singular best writers I've read in a long time. Look for "Shifting Sands" to threaten the 100% mark on Inkitt very soon as well. And be sure to follow Litherland now while you still can for free.

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Another Must-Read, Superfantastic Page-Turner!

There is so much that is extraordinarily great about this novel, it’s hard to know where to start. But here’s the main thing: Litherland draws you into Phil Tyler’s world, and you’re hooked from page one through to the end. The narrative of this mystery/thriller/action story unfolds in such a way that it almost pushes the reader forward to the next scene. Each reveal leads to a shocking new mystery in a delightful way. The dialogue, as with the first Phil Tyler book, is crisp, gritty, and often hilarious. The characters, such as Liz, Winston, and Wendy, are well-developed, and their interactions so real and sometimes humorous. My wife asked me why I was laughing so much as I read this. The entire book was fun and intense, but the last several chapters were mind-blowing with a shocking twist and a deeply satisfying conclusion. Bravo to Barry for another stellar effort. I feel lucky, perhaps guilty, to read such great stuff for free! This work ranks up there with the best in its genre!

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From a completely independent review of 'Shifting Sands' by Dominik G on 'The Online Book Club'



Altogether, what I admire about this book is its quality to address truly disturbing themes, such as our perception of reality and our vulnerability, while using a tone that doesn't let the story become too overwhelming or dark. It's an engaging first-person account of a sympathetic and winsome protagonist whose humor and zest ensure we never find ourselves lost in depressing depths. And truly, we have no time for that, either. The plot starts running wild from line one and it keeps the reader guessing 'til the very end. There are no filler paragraphs and no lengthy descriptions of surroundings, however, the text is alive with well-constructed dialogues which serve as wonderful bridges between scenes and ready opportunities to cover important developments in a compact, rapid-fire way.