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Publisher's Summary

When the Toller family moves in to the run-down house next door, Bailey McDaniel immediately notices strange behavior in the clan’s eldest son Glen. The pale-skinned, ginger-haired 15-year-old is aloof, prone to unforeseeable mood swings, and carries a morbid interest in the macabre. His bookshelves are lined with an array of well-worn true crime paperbacks depicting the serial and mass murders committed by a multitude of convicted madmen. It is Bailey’s overbearing mother and devoted therapist who insist that a friendship with the boy next door is worth pursuing, seeing that Bailey spent much of the past year in self-imposed isolation.

Reluctantly, Bailey heeds their advice and a friendship between he and Glen quickly materializes. It is, however, a friendship Bailey will grow to regret. As the layers peel away one by one, Bailey comes to find that Glen’s interests and obsessions are far more sinister than studying the brutal acts of those less than human and his fantasies are much darker than Bailey could’ve ever imagined. It is these fantasies that lead to the abduction of a pretty high school senior and a series of grisly murders that leave a small middle-American town bathed in blood.

©2018 Brandon Ford (P)2020 Brandon Ford

What listeners say about Plaything

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Wow This was an excellent slow burn extreme horror
Very dark and graphic definitely a hardhitting story of abuse and mental illness
Well narrated with an ending that will shock you highly recommended
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This book was so great!

They say if you don’t know a weird family in your neighborhood, that means your family is the weird family. Well in this book the Tolers or the outcast especially the sun. Just in the author describing him I got bad vibes and he said nothing out-of-the-box about him just if he’s standoffish attitude Despite having said that unlike other reviewer‘s I am not going to give you a summary of this book. What I will say is if you like extreme gore great writing an awesome entertainment then any book by Brandon Ford is a great choice, but this book plate thing is the best choice. Although it was 14 hours long before I knew it it was over. If you like hora and gore then this is a book for you And one I highly recommend. I thought the narrator did a great job and was perfect for this type of book. I do want to mention the trigger there is some sexual violence in this book so beware.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

slow start,

This book took me a while of putting it aside in order to get past the first part. it felt really slow and almost dragging in the beginning that was hard for me, but once it got past the set up (about half way through the book) it got really interesting and very disturbing. I was shocked in quite a few places, which is really hard to do these days, and disgusted, which made it all the more interesting. The ending I was not expecting, and it left me wanting to know what happened to him years later. Definitely a good and very disturbing story that isn't for everyone, but I would recommend it to anyone that can handle it.

I received a free copy for an unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Extremely, extremely, extreme

I think this book is too long. It takes forever to get to the substance of the story. I almost abandoned ship on it several times. I found myself a little lost a few times and had to go back and re-read. The narration is fairly enjoyable except that I found it annoying that every time the word “been “ was used, he pronounced it ‘bean. ‘ Lastly, this book needs to have a warning about the extremely graphic violence and sex. It may already have one and I missed it. That doesn’t usually bother me as I read many, many crime and true crime books. But if you enjoy a double dose of those things, this is the book for you. If there was a rating for sex and violence, I would give it 5 stars.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A disturbing but engrossing tale

Plaything, Definitely starts as a slow burn dark thriller, But when it explodes it is with a huge bang.
Disturbing in many places but gripping.
I received a free copy of this audiobook at my own request and voluntarily leave this honest review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Creepy and disturbing, but has some problems...

Here we have a sufficiently creepy story of a budding serial killer, but I found some elements more than a bit problematic.

This was my first exposure to Mark Harrietha. I found his narration skilled, but falling short of inspired. His voices are varied and distinct. His tempo shifts are effective. But I found his vocal inflections something short of true to the story.

Now, as is my wont, I'll largely forego a discussion of the plot. I'm sure there are plenty of other reviews that will summarize the plot.

First, although some of the side characters are little more than set dressing, the main characters are well drawn, if a bit heavy handed.

None of them fell into the realm of caricature, but some aspects of their personalities seemed over dramatized, as though the author were trying to telegraph to a younger audience what sort of people they are.

At many points, there is nice emotional resonance and the characters do, mostly, seem to behave within the parameters of what has been established.

However, I do have some critiques.
There is a touch of clumsiness in some of the prose. The bouncing between POVs was a little jarring.
There are some REALLY uncomfortable scenes in the book. Now, I don't mind gruesomeness or cruelty in fiction. I expect it from a book like this. No, my complaint here is that we have one character who revels in it and a second who turns into such a coward that he just goes along with it.
Which brings me to my next point that we have people behaving outside of their normal character in multiple ways, but the big one is this kid who is clearly meant to be a high order sociopath but really only displays it on occasion and toward the end it's like a switch flips and he suddenly goes from weird, a little creepy, with deviant tendencies to full on psychotic with no real trigger for doing so.
I could forgive this if there was any indication that he'd just been hiding his true nature previously, but that is not the case.

To wrap things up, I actually rather enjoyed the ending. The utter bleakness of it is really fitting for this particular story.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Even monsters have a childhood

It toke me making stops threw out the novel has I was a afraid of a spoken jump scare of the female dieing. It was intresting novel to listen to rise a serial killer threw the actions of another chacther.
P.S.
Hope you write a squeal

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling Slow Burn Horror

So, wow. I have to start this review off by saying this book was dark. Like The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum or Killing Stalking by Koogi level dark. Not for the faint of heart.

When Bae (Bailey’s) friend Christian dies in a fire, he’s lost. His mother pushes him to do therapy and get out of his shell, worried that all the isolation is no good for him. In a desperate attempt to get him to make friends, she pushes him to talking to the new boy next door, Glen. Bae isn’t impressed and immediately thinks the likelihood of them being friends is slim to zero. Then Glen shows up at his house the next day and somehow they hit it off. Glen is weird though, and Bae first notices this when he catches sight of the true crime books on his bookshelves. Books all about serial rapist/murderers. Bae thinks little off it, but when he takes Glen to meet his friend Alison, he can tell something isn’t right about him. What he doesn’t know is that Glen is stalking Alison, and he has big plans for all of them From there, things go downhill until Bae and Glen end up in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Brandon Ford is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. After reading Open Wounds, I leapt at the opportunity to read another of his works. His books so far are all dark and deal with triggering topics such as suicide, rape, and the darker side of life. That being said, he does it in a way that brings attention to critical issues.

His characters and worldbuilding is amazing. I don’t feel like I’m reading a story, but an autobiography of someone’s actual life. Bae and Glen were both fully fledged characters, Glen especially. The progression of fledging psychopath to full on murderer was tastefully written and believable. Mr. Ford didn’t spare us any details, and that’s what makes it so realistic and hard to put down.

Very compelling work.

The narration was also well done making this an A+ production.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Psychological Thriller

It was a very slow start but towards end it becomes a true horror with sexual torture and murders. It starts out with Bailey a troubled teen with his life experiences meets up with Glen who turns out to be a crazy psychopath. Some of the scenes were disturbing and ended up liking Bailey. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you

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GREAT READ!

I really enjoyed it! The narration was great and kept me entertained! The author did a great job with the character builds and plot! This was my first book by this author but definitely not my last! I look forward to reading more books by this author! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Mrs. Maher
  • 04-03-20

Too slow

I like the plot. The story was too slow and dragged out. Narrator was very good.