Billy Boy Blue: A Novella, by John Nicholl

Eight stars

Master of the full-length psychological thriller, John Nicholl presents the reader with a novella that offers the same bone chilling excitement as the story progresses. Kathy Conner lives the most horrible life possible. An abusive husband who bullies her unremittingly with no one who will believe her, either the family she has regularly called or the police who turn up at the door. Married to Police Inspector Michael Conners, Kathy is sure that she will never rid herself of this monster, especially when he offers such a calm demeanour to the outside world. At her breaking point, Kathy begins concocting a plan as her only way out, though it will take all the patience she can muster. Never knowing if each night Michael comes home will be her last on earth, one day Kathy takes a chance. A great story that reminds the reader of how addictive Nicholl can be, given the chance.

I remember when I first discovered Nicholl on a whim and could not put the book down. Promising I would keep an eye out for any of his future publications, Nicholl kept me on his own personal radar. Each book built on strengths from the last and now this novella first perfectly into the flow and ongoing positive development of his writing style. Though brief, the story builds on a few central characters and the emotional differences between them, namely Kathy and Michael. From there, it is the slowly evolving thought processes that Kathy exhibits that keeps the reader wanting to know how it will all come to a climax. The reader goes through all the ups and downs faced by an abused woman and the desire to flee, even when she finds herself under the thumb of the abuser. With Nicholl’s past professional experience in this area, it is no surprise that he is able to write so seamlessly and presents the reader will a stellar story whose impact resonate powerfully. 

Kudos, Mr. Nicholl for such a wonderful piece of work. I am truly blessed to be able to read and share your work with others and hope you have many more stories to come.