Book Reviews

Book Review: Portmanteau, Paul T. Beardow


Title: Portmanteau
Author: Paul T. Beardow
Publisher: Tilebe Publishing
Release date:
November, 16th 2015
Format: eBook
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Story

The First Harry Macadam Novel: After a body is pulled from the river Aire, what seemed like a straightforward missing person’s search becomes something much more dangerous for psychic investigator Harry Macadam.

Harry and his team from the Portmanteau Investigations Agency are rapidly drawn into a web of intrigue and find themselves being watched by both the police as well as a darker, more mysterious adversary.

The hunt for the missing woman leads them towards a criminal underworld that few people know about. Anyone that gets close to the truth doesn’t live to tell and a similar fate awaits an unknowing Harry as he uses his uncanny mental abilities to peel away layer after layer of secrets and lies.

To prevail against the utter evil that lurks in the shadows around him, Harry must not only discover a horror beyond anything he could imagine, but also confront the demons that hide inside him.

For Harry has his own secrets. Ones that he himself doesn’t even understand the full truth of and on those hidden truths rest the fates of dozens of souls.

Who is the real danger? The killer that he seeks, or Harry himself?

PORTMANTEAU, the first book in the Harry Macadam series, is the killer debut novel from new author Paul T Beardow.

My thoughts

First of all, if you are a francophile, you might wonder about the name of this book. Here is what I had in mind when I heard of Portmanteau.


Yes, a coat rack. In French, un portemanteau. Only the E is missing in the title. And the author has a much better explanation for the choice of the name of his agency than my mind.

Secondly, I will assume you that for the sake of this review, you have read the synopsis above. If you are anything like me, the words “psychic” and “mental abilities” raised a red flag, causing your brain to shout you to get the hell out. As Patrick Jane would say, there are no such thing as “psychic”. But please, don’t let this detail put you off, for Portmanteau is nothing like anything you have read before. Mental abilities can mean a thousand things and be used in a million different ways. In his story, Paul Beardow uses those cheats on nature by gathering them into an investigation agency made to help people that the usual methods or the police fail to give answers to. Your brain will naturally come to accept those abilities without getting a stroke. Indeed, it will be too busy trying to understand how a simple missing-person case can turn into a dark chilling chase.

While I was a little very skeptical when Harry Macadam walked into the Lovemore’s house to help find the disappearing wife, the author’s descriptive writing grabbed me so much that I quickly became involved in the plot, forgetting my first impression that this book was not for me. Harry’s visions give the first clues of what appears to be an affair gone bad, but when the police ask for him to stay away from the case, the investigator realizes there could be more to be done. Helped by his gifted team, he soon gathers information that leads to believe the story is not as simple as it looks. I truly enjoyed meeting every member of the agency. They each possess different but complementary skills as well as very different personalities, which I found was brilliantly voiced by the author through their behavior and talks.

But there is no time to blabber on about this when the hunters become the prey. In their search for the truth, the agency unravels old threads linked to their case, and with it a danger they did not see coming. There is something special about the writing and the story itself. I could not see it, I could only feel it between the lines, but I had to wait the final chapters to see the pieces of the puzzle come together and leave me gobsmacked. I won’t delve into the plot as it is one of those stories in which the tension ratchets up with every chapter, one page leading from a series of clues to the darkest secrets that takes you to one of the most chilling ending I have ever read. If you are looking for a staggering twist and an unnerving tale, you’ll definitely enjoy Portmanteau as much as I did.

Portmanteau is already available on Amazon 

If you want to know more about Paul Beardow, check out his blog

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

15 thoughts on “Book Review: Portmanteau, Paul T. Beardow”

  1. The cover is really terrifying. I stared at it for a while, with my eyes as wide as saucers. After reading the synopsis though, I’m actually (surprisingly) very intrigued. This mystery sounds gripping, and I love stories behind secrets. Something I think I’ll read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the cover is totally creepy, but it goes well with the story, haha! It’s a very intriguing story, I was not expecting to be so dark but it worked perfectly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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