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, Crime

Reviews Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1)

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Nyx
    3.5, rounded up for potential. Entertaining and fast paced story, let down slightly by the cheesy epilogue. This was my January Kindle First pick.Detective Barnes is your regular self hating detective with a death wish. While he's toying with suicide, there's still a serial killer on the loose. Rude! So, Barnes stows his somewhat immature guilt complex in order to work the case. He's special in that, to crack these crimes, he's often shot full of...
  • Shawn Adamson
    This was the first "page turner" that I've read in a while. I got it for free through the Kindle First Reads program, which have been hit or miss in the past. This one started out a little slow, but when I got through the first five or six chapters, I got hooked, and finished the rest in one sitting. It's a great little mystery with a dash of science fiction--in the near future, a machine can capture memories of the dying and recently dead. Those...
  • Sydnie Macelroy
    For the first half of the book, I really thought I was going to be overall indifferent about it. It wasn't bad, though maybe a little lacking in plot, and the characters, at least some of them were a bit flat. Gradually, the threads came together and... huh... oh... oh! It's really quite good! Not quite 5 star worthy and here's why... The Machine. It's a rather brilliant idea really, and Holliday pulls off the explanation of it as well as any sci...
  • Marina
    Random thoughts on Punishment, having just finished the book. 1. Uh? You what? 2. As an English person, I found the American police vernacular almost incomprehensible at times .3. The machine idea was fascinating – but I found the munkies, the repeated trips on the machine, depressing.4. I couldn’t understand the voices in the heads of people who’d been on the machine – were they the spirits of the people who had been ‘pulled’? If so,...
  • Tom Hicklin
    My reasons for not giving this book a better score were subjective. It’s an interesting concept and, for the most part, a well crafted story. My issue is I just didn’t care for the characters. Their descriptions were probably the weakest part of the writing and they all seemed a bit shallow-except for the main character, who was just vague. Especially the love interest, who came off as more crazy stalker lady than soul mate. The main characte...
  • Celestine
    This wasn't a bad read at all. I liked the premise, but the interrupting voices distracted me and pulled me out of the story at the beginning. It made it hard to become invested in what was happening in the mystery/investigation. I eventually got used to them though. Also, the bad guy's plan seemed a bit... off to me. It seemed to me like he was hinting at trying to get caught. But it took all of the victims to provide the necessary clues that le...
  • Cornmaven
    Excellent take on the detective hunting a serial killer genre. The futuristic twist of a machine which can pull memories from victims, with detectives tapping into them to get clues was intriguing and worked very well. It invites the reader to join a blessing/curse debate about innovation, technology, and whether punishment that includes revenge is acceptable.John Barnes' flaw is that he is caught up in the addiction of the process - can't shake ...
  • Angela
    I’d actually bump this one up to 3.5 stars. Good solid writing, decent thriller, and pacing was handled well also. There was just something about this book that didn’t sell it all the way for me. This may be the first time I’ve ever said this about a book, instead of the reverse, but I think this would have been better as an episode of Black Mirror or a movie instead of a book. There was a lot of subtle nuance that was missing that adds an ...
  • Kriss
    When you're reading the book on an airline and someone bumps into you and says they're sorry, and you're so into the book that you didn't even notice, nor hear what they said, nor care, that'a good book. I agree with one other reviewer that the last layer of surprise that seemed a little supernatural wasn't really necessary, or wasn't explained well enough to make it more sci fi than fantasy, but otherwise, fantastic book! Great characters (altho...
  • Lori Rosenkranz
    Dark, disturbing and beautifulImagine living the pain of memories from others (as if your own aren't painful enough). Then, imagine these memories being used as punishment. That is the point from this story.John lives in a time where memories can be sucked from a person, living or recently dead, and stored. They can then be uploaded into another person who lives those memories, with all the pain, joy, desolation and hope. The uploads are used to ...
  • Beckimoody Moody
    I liked this book. The premise is that technology can download memories and share them with someone else. Celebrities sell the chance to live a small portion of fame, and the police use victim memories to solve crimes, as well as punish the perpetrators. Unfortunately, this technology has a dark side, as the memories tend to take over. John Barnes is a detective chasing a particularly prolific serial killer by accessing the memories of the victim...
  • Delia Dye
    Good Fast ReadI loved this book. I honestly thought that it would be more sci-fyi, a genre I don't particularly care for, than a detective who-done-it. I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh take this writer took. It encapsulated the premise of mind-mining as a crime solving tool that decades ago the idea of DNA would have seemed as incredulous. The writing was so vivid, I felt as if a movie was unfolding before my eyes making the book difficult...
  • Robert V. Rossi
    What a mind!This has been a great read. Mr. Holliday made magic with ink in Punishment. Kept it connected in every twist. The concept was out of the park with"The Machine". I really don't want to say more as I don't wish to give anything away. I actually understood how one could become a " munkie ". You won't want to put this book down. I am going to ask, may I fall in love with Jessica, too? I was so glad Barnes met someone. She is his perfect m...
  • Lori
    Awesome Story!!This book reminded me of the futuristic movie Minority Report. A serial killer is on the loose. Detective Barnes gets hooked into a machine that allows him access to the victim's last moments and thoughts after each murder. He gets to relive those final, awful moments and all it entails. The story grabbed me and pulled me in from the beginning and kept me there all the way to its conclusion. The punishment for the guilty is to reli...
  • Laura
    Attention holderThis book kept my attention from page 1 and made me a little sleep deprived with "just a couple more pages and then I'll go to bed" with one night dangerously close to deciding to pull an all-nighter. The only thing I didn't quite like about it was that I had trouble keeping track of who was who between all the victims and family of victims and police force and the reporter. The concept was pretty unique and I rarely guessed right...
  • Daniel Kupres
    The MachineWhere to start? Get passed the first chapter and it will be near impossible to put this one down. John Barnes, detective is on the case of a serial killer in Detroit who uses a sugar skull mask to tie it all to Dìa de Los Muertos. In this setting, the police have a new tool, the Machine that allows them to pull some memories from the person before it’s too late. The killer, Calavera leaves as many clues as he can to his existence bu...