Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1) by Scott J. Holliday

Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1)

Do you want to know what it’s like to die, to kill, to really fear for your life? Then get hooked…Detroit-based homicide detective John Barnes has seen it all—literally. Thanks to a technologically advanced machine, detectives have access to the memories of the living, the dying, and the recently dead. But extracting victims’ experiences firsthand and personally reliving everything up to the final, brutal moments of their lives—the sigh...

Details Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1)

TitlePunishment (Detective Barnes, #1)
Release DateFeb 1st, 2018
PublisherThomas & Mercer
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Science Fiction, Crime

Reviews Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1)

  • Josh
    Punishment introduces a cool concept into the dark world of crime fiction; a machine which enables law enforcement to temporarily transpose the dying memories of murder victims into their own corpus of memories. The criminals in the fictional (future?) world have acclimatized to this new wave of policing and now wear masks to hide their identity, which means good old fashioned policing is still paramount to catching a killer. In Punishment, a kil...
  • Emma
    Despite the futuristic tech, most of this story isn't anything new. World weary, Machine addicted, and psychologically damaged Detective Barnes is searching for a murderer in the siphoned memories of his victims. Plugged into a device that replays their last moments at full sensory levels, he is taunted by a serial killer whose crimes had already tipped the last investigator over the edge. It all sounds pretty interesting, but is let down by the ...
  • Dee Arr
    Author Scott J. Holliday’s “Punishment” has a lot going for it. It contains a great plot idea wrapped in a mystery/thriller story, nicely helped by talented writing. There are a few elements that bothered me about the book, but none that would cause me to encourage others to leave it on the shelf.The author’s overall theme, a world where memories are chipped and sold, is not new. However, the twist of using the science as a tool to aid in...
  • Glen
    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.Detective John Barnes is a policeman who solves crime by using a technology that lets him experience the last memories of the victims. Unfortunately, there is a huge cost to the procedure, as Barnes suffers from PTSD. He quits, but then a serial killers starts in. Can Barnes withstand the pain to catch the killer.Pretty good. Thought provoking.
  • Lisa
    Brilliant!I chose this book from this months Kindle First selection. It was a difficult choice, with real competition this month and at least 4 out of 6 of those on offer which got my interest. In the end it was this that won out, the machine..... I just had to know more.The concept of a machine that can tap into and then replay not just memories, but physical sensation, pain, fear, love, the whole gamut of human emotions, taken from a person and...
  • Tara Bush
    It was an interesting story, but it lacked character depth and was a bit short on reason in some places. We've got our damaged, self-hating, weary detective (very unoriginal) who hooks himself into a machine where he relives his homicide victims' deaths to solve the crime. While we do learn about why the detective believes he deserves punishment, the reader never feels it. The detective is Mr. Macho, sad and misunderstood, always doing more than ...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    What an absolutely unique look into how future crime may be solved. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to be able to see the memories of not only the living but the dead too. The absolute weight it must put on someone not only mentally but physically would be cumbersome and surely cause their mind to break itself... eventually. Barnes has seen past users of this machine end up in a ward for the criminally insane. He swears he ...
  • Linda
    Thought-provoking concept, and a compelling sci-fi murder mystery.
  • Patricia
    Future machine extracts memory from living or dead people and can be downloaded into someone else. Used for fun ("you can be a Kardashian for a day"), detective tool, and as punishment for criminals. Murderers must relive their victims final moments as the victim. The murderer feels every fear, terror, and pain that they caused the victim. Now that's justice.The story line of a detective trying to find a serial killer by tapping in and experienci...
  • Melon
    3.5 stars but I'll round up. **I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review**This book took the cliché burned out detective vs serial killer trope and put an interesting and engrossing sci-fi touch on it. The world of this novel is just like ours, with one additional technology: people can download memories into their own brains. This is especially useful for homicide detectives, who "plug in" to their victims...
  • Sharon
    Really interesting conceptsI thoroughly enjoyed this take on the machine and it's side effects. I really thought the killer was a few different people and had not guessed the truth. The author was able to make a middle ground of details, but not being overblown about it.
  • Alger
    You know this story: The world-weary homicide cop with deep personal damage and cheerlessly engaged in a cycle of self-destructive behavior sets out on a case that will bring him a measure of redemption. This very tired setup is given a new twist in Punishment with the introduction of The Machine, a plugin and drug combo that captures short term memories stored in the hippocampus. Once those memories are recorded they are then accessible to anyon...
  • Alex
    Ok. This book is sooooooo cool. Definitely the most unique and exciting story I have read this year. I loved every single page and character. Pumped that this will be a series!!!
  • Jm
    This was a Kindle First Read book selection. It did not jump out at me - it just seemed to be the best possibility of a good read. The subject matter is intense and not for the squeamish or those who cannot take violent scenes. The premise is intriguing, if macabre - creation of a machine that can pull recent memories from peoples' minds, including recently deceased, and make the guilty parties (and detectives) relive those last memories. This is...
  • Rbucci
    For people who love thrillers and science fiction this is the book for you. The science fiction element isn't too strong, but it threads throughout the book creating what if questions. I was at the edge of my seat while reading this book. I was torn between reading more and putting it down because of anticipating the actions of the two main characters. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. The ending was somewhat of a surprise. Overall a goo...
  • Guy Lenk
    Categorizing this one is a bit difficult. It's definitely a Crime/Detective book, but it's also Sci-fi. I've seen negative reviews about the fact that Holliday didn't go into overly elaborate discussions of the 'science' behind the machine. I'm glad Holliday made that choice because I usually find that stuff is just distracting from the point of the story (e.g. midichlorians). One caveat with this book is that it has quite a bit of gore and viole...
  • Nadeen
    I am an insomniac and as such I guard the few hours I sleep jealousy. I avoid things that I know will haunt me at night and steal what little sleep I have away. I wasn't very far into this book when it became obvious it fell into that category. Generally when that happens the book lands in my "trashed it" pile, a pile littered with the likes of Stephen King and Lee Child. After that I generally sooth my frayed nerves with a cozy mystery or someth...
  • Donald Mosier
    This is one of the most unique, intriguing, and yet disturbing police procedurals (can I really call it that) I have ever read. I nearly gave it five stars. Then my better judgment kicked in and reminded me that such ratings are reserved for more literary works than this. But it was a near thing.John Barnes is a detective. He is investigating a serial killer, who eviscerates his victims with a pickaxe. (Yuck) He also write a poem at each killing....
  • Kerry
    This book didn't do much for me. It was just ok. To think about hooking a dead person up to a machine to get their last memories kind of made my stomach turn. It was just too unreal for me.
  • Mandy
    Maybe 3.5 stars. I picked this as my Kindle First option for January and while I thought the concept was really unique and I enjoyed the pace, I really didn’t care for the rushed romance part of it. Not that I want a long drawn out romance in a thriller book, but if there’s going to be romance, I want it to be believable.There was a good mix of predictability and twists + turns. Kept my attention and overall a good read.
  • Jessica
    3.5/5 stars - rounded up for ratingFull review to follow
  • Brian Koeller
    InterestingI liked the idea of a machine that downloads memories and the killer was fairly interesting. The lead character wasn't exactly original but solid. The story was paved well & I enjoyed ut.
  • Michael T. Stallings
    Not only did I enjoy it, I preordered book 2.
  • Charles Miske
    Wow, intense. This was a real mind-bending experience. Imagine being forced to absorb that last breathing memory of the dead, the victims of horrible violent crimes. Imagine there is actually something worse than that, which I won't reveal.That's the story for our poor detective, tracking a serial killer who remains just on the edge of his collective memories. Great story, very fun. Well worth the hours to read it, even if you're not a fan of any...
  • Ti.Me
    A guilt-ridden homicide detective and a grizzly series of murders inhabit a setting where technology allows for sharing of memories (even from brains of the newly-dead)! Law enforcement use the 'machine' on victims to gather crucial investigative data; and no memory -- no matter how sensitive -- is private anymore.There's a subculture of memory bingeing and addiction, with abusers strung out on the memories of athletes and over-sexed movie stars....
  • Derrell Carter
    The idea was intriguing, the execution fell a little short. The main character was unsympathetic at times and the side characters weren't fleshed out at all. I felt that you didn't even get a good idea of how the characters moved, what they cared about or what they were motivated by besides supporting the main character and its no wonder with character descriptions like "She looked tired, and she looked Mexican." It felt like many of the characte...
  • Maria
    3.5 Detectives in this world relive the dying memories and emotions of dead crime victims and pay for it with their sanity and their peace of mind and the main character is straddling the brink of sanity as he tries to catch a serial killer. There’s so much grit here that it’s hard to pinpoint any one moment that is happy or joyful. This is more of a character study in torment than a mystery. Even the romance feels dark and it’s not clear w...
  • Nikole Fletcher
    Refreshing & convincingI love the new take on a pliable crime / punishment that is plausible to come to be in the foreseeable future. The whole munky business is great. Characters were developed pretty well, although the character of Jessica, seemed a little contrived, I look forward to what comes next
  • Nicole
    This took me longer than expected to get through. It’s an interesting concept and what drew me to it was my background in criminal justice and psychology, since it was a psychological thriller and about how we punish criminals. It really made me think about how we punish criminals, but it also made me wonder about the concept of mind over matter. Barnes wasn’t a very dynamic character or detective there was little character development throug...
  • Nancy Harmon
    Quick and entertaining read, but I felt like the romantic interest happened way too fast. Although I liked the concept of the machine I had trouble figuring out “when” this story was supposed to take place. The killer’s motive was rather muddled by the time I reached the end of the book. I only found a couple of typos, like using “set” when it should have been “sat” and a couple of other oopses. In spite of this, I will look forward...