Monday, November 14, 2016

Early Review: Criminal Zoo by Sean McDaniel

Title: Criminal Zoo 
Author: Sean McDaniel 
Publisher: Rare Bird Books 
Source: Publisher 
Expected Publication: November 15th, 2016 
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: Like millions of children, Samuel Bradbury comes from a broken home. Yet he still enjoys the everyday activities of being a kid: playing basketball, shooting his air rifle, and hanging out. Something else, however, exists inside Samuel—something that sets him apart from other children. He enjoys killing.

Samuel's murderous impulses follow him into manhood and his lethal actions ultimately land him in the Criminal Zoo—society's final answer to a problem as old as mankind. His days are filled with suffering, as visitors with revenge in mind are allowed physical interaction with the inmates. He exists in torturous misery and all hope is lost. Death, an unattainable early release, becomes his only desire. An unexpected guest, however, changes everything; a surprise visit will decide Samuel's fate.

This is his story. 


Criminal Zoo by Sean McDaniel is a disturbing thriller but also a thought-provoking one. When the governor of Colorado loses his wife, he begins a crusade to build a zoo filled not with animals but with criminals; it will be interactive – guests will be allowed to inflict “a punishment” upon the inhabitants. Depending on the price they pay for admission, they can either view the exhibits or participate in what they consider some type of retribution. The governor believes that anyone who commits a violent crime “should be punished equally violently.” Very eye for an eye.

Our narrator informs us that the governor’s dream has become a reality. The 562-bed prison is known as Supermax and houses the Criminal Zoo. It has state-of-the-art security, there has never been an escape, and our narrator knows this because he is Samuel Bradbury, exhibit CZ One-Zero-One-Three, and this is his story.

Oh, Samuel… you sick, sick, deluded individual. You almost feel sorry for Samuel until you’re let into his mind. Samuel definitely deserves to be incarcerated… but does he deserve the zoo? I have my answer, but you’ll have to find yours.

Someone interviewing the governor questions whether he is confusing justice with vengeance, and I found myself wondering the very same thing. After all, two wrongs do not make a right… do they? And what would my feelings be if someone were to hurt my loved ones? It’s so easy to think we know ourselves when we view a path we’ve never had to actually walk. This story was a graphic one, and again I need to use the word disturbing because it’s the best descriptor. But it was also captivating and one I was equally repelled and transfixed by.

Criminal Zoo is not for the faint-hearted or delicate readers. I’ll be honest, some parts were a bit too unsettling for me. I recommend this to fans of horror and psychological thrillers. Fans of King and Ketchum will devour this!

Huge thank-you to the publisher for sending a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   
© at A Belle's Tales



  1. Cover on this still creeps me out... this really does sound creepy and disturbing and blah. It also reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode just more creepy. Not surprised you enjoyed this one though, because it sounds right up your alley. Great review!

  2. Anonymous11/14/2016

    This sounds amazing! I love disturbing and thought provoking! I'm buying this book asap!


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