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The Axe

Cover art by Jennifer Greeff

Sweethearts Eric Leidheldt and Desiree Chauveau are spending a weekend at his uncle's cabin when they encounter two strangers cutting wood. Eric is knocked unconscious, and Desi is viciously attacked. The following day two police officers come to their apartment to arrest Desi. Her assailants are dead, murdered with an axe, and her fingerprints are on it. She confesses—but is she really guilty? Eric is determined to stand by her, but the physical and emotional effects of the attack severely challenge their relationship.


   The pickup was a very old, battered Dodge. Beyond it were two bearded men in plaid flannel shirts. The one with the axe was about forty, broad-shouldered, and dark-haired. The other one was tall, scruffy, a little younger, and had red hair. They both turned toward the approaching couple. The red-haired one stared at Desi in a way Eric didn't like, but the other man smiled genially and said, "Howdy, folks. Pretty day, ain't it?"

   And then he swung the axe.


"The Axe is a gripping novella that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.  Author Linda Griffin's absorbing narrative packs quite a punch within a short number of pages...With a tight and unpredictable plot and two compelling main characters, Griffin ensures readers are thoroughly hooked...Highly recommended to fans of fast-paced thrillers." ~ Pikasho Deka for Reader's Favorite.   


 "...probably the quickest, most intense 77 pages I've ever read." - Terri-Lyne H., Amazon Canada   


   "I still get shivers thinking about this story." ~ Morena Stamm, author of the Named Again series


   "I read the whole story in one sitting. It was riveting and fabulous." ~ Frances Sevilla, Senior Mystery Editor, TWRP


   "Suspenseful and character-rich… A page-turner...The suspense here is relentless; Griffin does a great job of embedding surprising revelations into the fast-paced narrative, keeping readers thoroughly invested. Desi holds her own as a character; her ongoing turmoil is completely believable, rendering her understandably human. Eric's struggle to do the right thing by Desi makes him an endearing protagonist. The twist toward the end is both real and surprising and the ending heartfelt. The novel isn't 'just another thriller' but a deep exploration of violence, trauma, PTSD, and trust. A winner."

   ~ The Prairies Book Review


"An intense, captivating, quick read about the effect devastating trauma can have on one's memory and how difficult it is to rebuild a 'normal' life until those effects are dealt with. Luckily. the story is a novella because it grabs the reader from the very first page and doesn't let go. If it had been a full-length novel I'm afraid I would have been worn to a frazzle from all the twists and turns by the time I finished. So, if you are looking for a tension-filled, intense, heart-pounding, twisted, 'won't-let-you-go' read, I highly recommend The Axe. I will be looking for more of Ms. Griffin's books to enjoy."

   ~ Teresa Collins, Bookbub


   "With unparalleled skill, Linda Griffin engulfs readers in a haze of tension that begins in the first few paragraphs and increases throughout the biting story. Key phrases and well-chosen dialogue firm up the dynamics between Desi and Eric, though we only get to know them in this period of turmoil. The way the author avoids laying out the grisly details of the titular attack is deliberate and successful. Without the burden of a gratuitous scene that could divert the purposeful flow of an impactful story, aspects of the assault are conveyed through searing conversation and poignant recollections, delivering maximum emotional impact. A compelling relationship drama with an undercurrent of mystery, The Axe turns an inhumane atrocity into an intensely consuming reading experience." ~ Indies Today

    "This brisk thriller from Griffin offers an emotionally charged mystery of repressed memories after trauma...Griffin builds constant tension throughout the story through deft use of Eric's limited perspective of the weekend's events...Griffin's use of a confined setting and with only a few characters serves only to magnify the violence that Desi has endured... Griffin handles the trauma, violence, and references to sexual assault with welcome realism and sensitivity...The Axe will stir readers' emotions, and Eric and Desi's love story and the puzzle of piecing together what really happened in the cabin keeps the suspense potent right until the satisfying end. Fans of twisty, humane thrillers will devour this short, potent character-driven story. Takeaway: A fast-paced suspenseful novella of violence, trauma, and trust." ~ BookLife


"I really enjoyed this. The examination of the bond between the two main characters was sensitively handled to show the kinds of problems that trauma can cause within a relationship." ~ Kevin Cannon, Monty's Book Reviews


"I LOVED this novella...I read it in one sitting and found every page, every paragraph, every line perfect. The author did a great job in creating a great plot, believable characters, an opening, middle and conclusion in just 66 pages. I wanted more of this, but really appreciated the shortness, as I don't like unnecessary fluff in thrillers or novels that should be fast paced." ~ Rachel, Goodreads


   "At just over 60 pages in length, this is a short narrative, and one that goes by fast. Eric serves as a reader surrogate; the story is told from his perspective, so readers only know what he knows at any given moment. This generates significant suspense, making this work a page-turner. Griffin also deals with violence and trauma in a compassionate manner, conveying a realistic and sympathetic image of a young survivor. Beyond uncovering a mystery, the novella effectively develops characters as they face unprecedented circumstances...One may wish that the story was a bit longer; as it is, readers are left to wonder what Eric and Desi are like outside of the dire situations that Griffin puts them in. Still, these goodhearted characters are easy to root for.

   An engaging, fast-paced tale that addresses the disorderly impact of trauma." ~ Kirkus Reviews


   "Never in my life have I read something like this. It's much more than a thriller, this novella digs deep into PTSD and the after effects...For most of the story, I had no idea what happened or what was going to happen. But thanks to the immersive narration, I couldn't stop reading...These characters are portrayed with empathy and compassion...I enjoyed this thriller novella. It will stay with me for a long time." ~ N.N. Light's Book Heaven


"This was quite an intriguing mystery novella. Not everything is as straightforward as you might expect as you are reading this book...I really enjoyed this book, and it is perfect when you have a shorter amount of time and don't want to have to put the book down!" ~ StoreyBook Reviews


"Ms. Griffin did a good job of showing how a violent and traumatic event effects people who experience them...It was nice to have as much focus on the victims' perspectives as there was, and this only became more important once the grimmer aspects of the attack had been revealed. The Axe kept me guessing." ~ Long and Short Reviews