REHAB by Ryder Kinlay

Summer Byrnes had a privileged life, but her love for the drink has ripped it apart.

Isolated in an artificial world of rules and punishment, Summer’s looks and wealth make her the target of lust and jealousy at Eden Creek Rehab.

They’ve made her life a living hell.

But it’s nothing compared to what her eight-year-old son will unleash on anyone who hurts his mummy.

Warning: REHAB contains sexual and physical violence. Some content may disturb.

The IndieMuse Review

Ryder Kinlay’s debut novel REHAB packs quite a punch. While there were some flaws, the Australian author shows a lot of promise for good things to come.

Summer Byrnes is an alcoholic, so she goes to Eden Creek Rehab. She is a target of lust and jealousy, with her good looks and privileged life counting against her. Kate will be her best friend and Samson will become more than that, even while she claims to be happily married to Jack and adore her boy Robbie—with whom she shares a special, supernatural bond. So what will happen to the man who dares to hurt his mommy?

There is character development which is very well done, but the fact that she could cheat on her husband (again) made me dislike Summer more than the author probably intended for the reader. I have a hard time getting past the fact that she begged her husband for forgiveness, yet gave in to her carnal desires despite loving him. It did not influence my rating, however.

The death scene toward the halfway mark hits hard—it is as extreme as most things I have read. Also, some of the things that have happened to other residents in the past pushes this book toward the extreme genre, but even with the supernatural element, I am struggling with the idea of calling this a horror story—at least not in the traditional sense. There is a large romance/erotic element present and the overall feel is much more of a drama with horrific things happening.

Like nearly all new authors, there will be a learning curve for Kinlay. In my opinion, there are two major flaws to this story.

The first is pace—the story started off really strong and held my interest, but then the ‘love-story’ started and it felt like too many pages were spent on it. By the time I reached the very graphic and brutal murder (kudos to the author, it was rough to read), my interest had waned a fair bit. After the murder, the pace picks up again, but toward the end things start to feel a little stretched out. Again, I will state that I am a horror reader and, because of these changes of pace, the impact of the horror element felt diluted.

The second is the killer. When the police question this particular suspect, everything points to him being the killer. I think the author missed a trick here by not using it as a misdirection. To add more mystery, it would have helped with the suspense and might have enhanced the horror element of the story. The fact that he turned out to be the killer after all made the ending feel further away than it was.

It’s difficult not to recommend this one, though—there was some things that were really well done, especially for a debut. It did get an emotional response from me, which is what any author strives to do, so I have to say that despite the flaws, this story shows tremendous promise for good things to come from this author. Not exactly sure I can recommend it for the splatterpunk crowd, but something worth checking out for an optimist.


Mort Stone lives in untamed Africa, where he rides his lion to work every morning to slave away as a scientist who learned how to fake competency.

Reading is his passion…well, the one he can admit to, anyway. As an aggressive pacifist, he chooses to fight vicariously through stories which can bring him no physical harm.

While he is almost confidant that his IQ is in the top 50%, his wife regularly reminds him of all the stupid things he does. He will neither admit nor deny the accusations of sarcasm, but he can act like he cares. Most of the time.

As an avid reader of horror and thrillers, and somewhat of a movie buff in those genres, he still blames his insomnia on Global Warming. Because he can.

He would also like to apologize in advance for any swear words which might slip through…he will blame that on the insomnia.

Curation Results: REHAB

Curator Notes: "Kinlay's debut contains some issues found with many new authors trying to find their voices and style, but the promise it shows outweighs the pitfalls." —KnotBTK


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “REHAB by Ryder Kinlay”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is under construction and new ownership. We are currently closed to review copies. New content is expected soon. Meanwhile feel free to browse our past content! :)


Get updates on all the best new indie dark fiction releases sent directly to your inbox! And win free books!

Subscribe now


* indicates required