Bleak North - The Website of Author, BARRY LITHERLAND





Jul 22, 2018

clearly a pro

Nothing amateurish about this read. Felt guilty for not having paid. I see that you have some more books available on Amazon and I'll certainly be adding them to my queue. I love how long you keep the reader guessing vis a vis the particulars of Stevie's death. When the reveal finally comes it is chilling to be sure. The dialogue was keen, the banter so snarky and razor-witted, it had me grinning like an idiot for most of the read. I could state the obvious, that the characters are so fully realized you feel like you've passed them on the street, but let's assume that goes without saying. The mechanics of the mystery itself were sophisticated, tortuous but never convoluted. The exposition towards the end could easily have felt tedious in the hands of a lesser writer, but you made it harrowing, like all the rest. Speaking of things most writers can't pull off well, Wayne's transformation by the end of the book is actually believable and well-earned. Meanwhile Brother Tyrone is the stuff of nightmares, but not, in my view, unsympathetic. Damaged goods in the most severe sense. It's very easy to imagine Wayne turning out the same if not for the support and influence of his friends. Well done.

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Dec 1, 2018


Waves Break on Unknown Shores is a must read. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read. You will enjoy every word, literally. This story has so many characters and story lines that most published authors would have difficulty weaving the plot and closing any loose ends. Not this author. The author addresses every question a reader may have, with such grace, unlike anything I’ve seen. The protagonist’s narratives are so whimsical that the reader cannot help but smile. The dialog is so well thought out and written that the reader gets drawn into the character’s reality. I would be hard pressed to find another book that is such a fun read and yet incredibly intriguing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it rank on the best sellers list of published books one day. If you have the opportunity to read the Waves Break on Unknown Shores, I would highly recommend it. You would not be disappointed.

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Brittanny Davis

Nov 15, 2018

Waves Break on Unknown Shores

I wanted to use the following remark for my review: This reminded me greatly of Stephen King's "It" - the boys going to and from childhood and adulthood days, linked by trauma. (My favorite book by him, no less). You delivered those innocent childhood remembrances expertly, Your characters were dynamic - young and adult - drawn to order. There is a good deal of sarcasm and wit that the reader can appreciate in Phil, a part of his character. And your use of description and metaphors are delightful, truly original. Paced perfectly, both in terms of mystery and writing, with just enough tension building to keep the reader turning to the next chapter, wanting to know more. A well-constructed mystery and well-written. The use of first person was refreshing. Some editing to clean it up (a few errors) and you could have a best seller. I enjoyed the read.

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Overall Rating



Nov 15, 2018

Better than anything I read in a while.

It's a thriller/mystery with a heart, a lot of it. The author's storytelling skills are stupendous, the way he feeds the reader a bit of the past, then the present, and back again, foreshadows cleverly, and always leaves a hook at the end of each chapter (while never hanging on it cheap red herrings) is pure mastery. Characters are vivid, the 2 main ones have clear and satisfying arcs, You fall in love with Phil and Wayne, Tina, Slaterry, and can't help becoming attached, so you don't want to let them go at the end. But we must. The tale is all wrapped up, the climax is reached to the outmost satisfaction, and now we hope for more books by the same pen.

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Sep 12, 2018

So great it's criminal!

If you told me Barry Liferland was publishing more crime/thriller books, I would pay for each and every one of them. That's how good this mystery/crime drama is. It's all FANTASTIC! --the character development, the crisp and descriptive writing, the way he weaves elements from characters' pasts with what's happening in the present, the pace of the story, the way the mystery unravels and reveals, the incisive laugh-out-loud humor--ALL of it. I loved this book! There is a smart/lucky agent out there who will snap up this author soon.

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Sep 12, 2018

The ride of a lifetime

The intensity of this novel had me hooked for the entire ride. And what a ride it was! Barry successfully pushed the story forward with clever flash back a from the past while still keeping a firm grasp of the present. I absolutely loved watching his characters grow from boys to men. His wide cast of characters, each with a life of their own, harness a sense of brutal realism. Wayne in particular is one of my favourite characters by far. For all his flaws, he still stays true to himself and the amount of care and love his troubled heart holds... it pulled at my own heartstrings with every chapter. Phil was a fantastic narrative experience as well but even though we hear the novel from his voice- it was Wayne who breathed life into the story. Amazing job! Keep up the fantastic work!

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Sep 9, 2018

Touching story

This is the most well-written story I came across on Inkitt! The author is able to weave the revealing of haunting past events into the current-day mystery in the form of flashbacks and he does it masterfully. The characters are well developed and relatable, the events clearly presented and believable. The author tackles the issues of child abuse, bullying, and its consequences as well as the ripple effect of these actions within not just the lives of the victims but of an entire community. He does it with skill, respect, and tenderness. Caution: may result in heartbreak for fictional characters ;) I found myself having difficulty staying in editor mode as the story unfolded and pulled me along at a fast pace. Turns out that's not an issue as the novel is very well written from a technical point of view with only a few typos and a couple of missing commas. I highly recommend this excellent story and I look forward to seeing it on the bookshelves of my favorite bookshops.

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Sep 3, 2018

Waves break on unknown shores

An absolutely fantastic read! Only meant to read the first chapter, but found myself hooked and couldn't put it down! Good pace throughout, very believable characters, an all round jolly good book! First of a series maybe?

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Josh Byrne

Aug 31, 2018

Finished it like a packet of chocolate digestives.

I thought i was only going to read a few chapters at first. I thought i was going to savour the story, the plot and the characters. But, like chocolate digestives, I find myself finishing this off at 3am without shamefully having to put the empty biscuit packet in the bin, but feeling fully satisfied. This was an amazing read. I am really surprised this story has not been published yet. I really connected with the characters and Phil's voice remained clear throughout, even as a child. The way his point of view is written flows seamlessly and the dialogue remained believable and realistic. The pace was great and the past story line explaining what happened to Stevie came in at just the right places. There were no points where I felt I was overwhelmed with information but I understood what was going on throughout. I normally read fantasy and I have to say mysteries and thrillers aren't usually my kind of genre. However, I really enjoyed reading this book in a way I didn't expect to. I honestly wish you the best of luck publishing this because I would buy it and keep it on the shelf. The only criticism I have is that I come away from this story with my confidence in my intuition a bit deflated, I really thought it would be Erin who had the JAYDEE file in the end.

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Aug 29, 2018

I just had to finish it

I thought I would read a few chapters before I went to sleep. How wrong was I? Five times I put it down. Five times I picked it back up again. I just could not wait to see what the next chapter had in store. Then the next. Then the one after that. Do not read this at bedtime

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Aug 17, 2018

Waves break on Unknown Shores

What a great read. I was hooked from the start and couldn't 'put it down'. This novel is an expertly crafted thriller. It's fast paced, with building tension and suspense and a few surprises. The author seamlessly weaves the threads of a past mystery into the fabric of the contemporary plot. The author keeps us guessing and the plot is well constructed and executed. The writing style is enthralling with stunning analogies, humour, wit and insight. The characters feel real, they have depth and breadth, and their interrelationships form part of the web of intrigue. With the writing style, we get up close and personal with the protagonist and feel the dread when we encounter the antagonists. I can't praise this book enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

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Jul 23, 2018

Calling all Publishers

This novel is about as ready to be published as any I've read. In fact, it would make a phenomenal screenplay and feature film. The characters are rich, vibrant, distinct and believable. The antagonists, with one in particular, are rotten to the core and downright terrifying. The main character goes through an impressive arc throughout the course of the story, which takes place only over the course of a few explosive days. Hanging over the tight thriller that plays out over the present day is a mysterious tragedy that takes place more than a decade earlier, which underpins the psychology and motivation of the main characters and keeps the reader guessing until the very end of the story. The storytelling is spot on, with just the right details revealed at just the right times to keep the reader enthralled, engaged and second-guessing the next plot twist from beginning to end. If you are looking for an expertly crafted mystery/thriller, pop some popcorn and read this novel from cover to cover on a rainy weekend afternoon. It will not disappoint. But do so soon before the major publishers and movie studios discover it!!

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Post by maniniliodi » 08 May 2020, 04:39


[Following is a volunteer review of "Waves Break (on Unknown Shores)" by Barry Litherland.]


4 out of 4 stars




"A stone has fallen in a pool and those ripples are spreading ever outwards, and no one knows where they’ll break.

On unknown shores, I guess."


The book Waves break on Unknown shores by Barry Litherland, explores various themes ranging from friendship, death, troubled family backgrounds and secrets. The intrigue will have you binge-reading the story and eager to unravel the answers to the mystery.


The story takes us on a journey of the endless troubles experienced by two friends, Phil and Wayne, all beginning from the dreadful death of their best friend during the careless days of their childhood. Phill and Wayne have a complex yet irrefutable bond that passes the challenge of time. However, their friendship is often tested by Wayne's impulsive and impetuous actions. Over the course of the story, another childhood friend, Tina, enters the equation. The trio are caught in the darkness of the past and come face-to-face with seemingly insurmountable troubles. Tina's father is hospitalised, Wayne is arrested for breaking and entering, Phill is threatened by dubious men, while an unanswered question is sought after by them all: what is JAYDEE and who has it? Amongst the terrors surrounding this burning question, the greatest nightmare of the town appears like a ghost from the past to leave mayhem and daunting fear in his wake...Tyrone.


What I loved about the book most were the authentically portrayed and utterly plausible characters! Phill is the central figure who's viewpoint is shared throughout. He is characterised by his insecurity, fairness and impeccable sense of sarcasm. Wayne on the other hand, is a character initially painted in a negative light, but then in a brighter one, as we discover his deep-rooted traumas and empathise with him. He is rash and unpredictable, yet very caring and loyal to his loved ones. Tina is the main feminine character strongly illustrated by her intelligence, kindness and empathy. Beyond the central figures, the secondary characters really are the cherry on top! My personal favourites were Simon and Slattery, as they enabled us to really witness Phill resorting to humour as a defence mechanism in difficult situations.


Moreover, the use of language in the story made it a very light and enjoyable read. Hence, this is the perfect book for anyone who enjoys a fun mystery novel, yet doesn't want to be caught in the intensity of mind-boggling plots! Also, the colloquialism and use of intense profanity was a great contributing factor in illustrating a sense of realism in the characters. However, I wouldn't recommend the book to those bothered by excessive use of profanity.


Overall, I was delighted to finish this fresh and unique story feeling pleasantly surprised! It's the first book I've read by Barry Litherland, so I genuinely wasn't sure what to expect! I would highly suggest that any mystery/thriller - lover reads this book. I'd give it 4 out of 4 stars since I felt it was complete, accurately written and contained no visible mistakes that distract you from your reading. Beyond the wonderful use of characterisation by Litherland, the retrospective stream of the plot was very engaging and undoubtedly intertwined with the title. We get slight inferences and ongoing allusions of this idea of one action having unending repercussions in time, like ripples in water once you drop something in it.


"Events I haven’t thought about in years emerge from the mists of the past like they’ve been hiding there, just waiting for that tug on the wire."