Julian Boote

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019: Julian's first novel - "EXIT" - has reached the Semifinals of the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book 2018 competition.

Julian Boote is an actor, author, screenwriter and filmmaker with a BA Honours in Film & Art from Reading University in the UK. He has four feature film credits to his name - The Killing Zone, Small Time Obsession, Dead Room and Fallen Angels - in the roles of producer, co-screenwriter, and second unit director. In 2008 Julian returned to his first love; acting, and is thriving, having chalked  ...See more >


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"“…richly imagined, and its characters are fun to follow—even into deadly catacombs.”"

Kirkus Reviews

BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

THRILLERS
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-916187-21-4
Page count: 274pp

Following a worldwide zombie plague, a survivor relates his personal account of a new menace more terrifying than swarms of the undead in Boote’s (EXIT, 2015, etc.) horror yarn.

Years after the Zombie War, Jay Boam is cast in a Hollywood film. The movie, set during the zombie outbreak, is about Beeston, which had been a safe haven during the war in Cheshire, England. History lionized the survivors at Beeston, a village and its castle, where an event known as the First Emergence ultimately led to victory over the undead. Knowing Hollywood’s penchant for altering facts, Jay decides to get the real story from Alec Mitchell, a Beeston survivor and the movie’s on-set adviser. During the zombie outbreak, Alec, an Anglican priest, used his background in science to research the undead’s reanimation with Beeston’s vet/doctor, Jennifer Edwards. Weeks into their work, the two recognized a zombie as someone from a nearby stronghold, so Beeston’s leader, Henry Jackson, sent a drone to survey the area. He then dispatched a group that found death and destruction, but the apparent attack didn’t seem to be the result of either an undead horde or living raiders. In fact, a dying girl at the stronghold claimed the devil himself had attacked them. Back at Beeston, Alec and others stumbled onto something they had never seen before, with the capacity to be far deadlier than zombies. As Beeston was ill-equipped to defend itself against this new threat, a vicious battle for survival ensued. However, present-day Alec, who doesn’t believe he deserves his status as hero, has a confession for Jay.

Boote’s engrossing zombie tale is primarily Alec’s first-person story told to Jay, with occasional prompts from the latter. It’s a believable narration, entirely from the perspective of Alec, who even in retrospect doesn’t know what others were thinking. His account, told chronologically, likewise offers a few surprising plot turns, most notably the nightmarish evil described in the book’s latter half. The story shows a world enduring, as well as adjusting to, the zombie plague, not unlike George A. Romero’s series. Beeston’s harrowing fight is wrought with tension and occasionally grotesque. Fortunately, Boote (via Alec) is thoroughly descriptive: “From the matted mass of grey hair at the peak of his crown a dirty brown line traced a diagonal trail across his face, disappearing below where his right ear would have been, had not everything above that line been sliced clean away.” Footnotes clarify Alec’s copious references to historical events surrounding the war and zombie pandemic. These do nevertheless make some characters a literal footnote. We meet one in particular seconds before death, so readers may have trouble sympathizing. Regardless, other characters are outstanding, especially Henry and British Army Sgt. Peter John Rule, whom the government assigned to assist Beeston. The power struggle between these two further escalates suspense: Henry evidently hopes for a haven independent of the government, and Rule represents the authority he’s trying to escape. While the wrap-up provides sufficient insight into Alec on an emotional level, the novel concludes with an unforgettably unnerving and lasting impression.

Smart, invigorating, and, like the best zombie stories, relentlessly creepy.

THRILLERS
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1785106651

A heist novel that takes a decidedly surreal turn when its posse of professional burglars enters an ultraviolent underworld.

To most of the people she knows, Kim Sawyer appears to be a fairly normal Englishwoman who’s studious, affable, and gives lectures on art history. Nobody knows that she was once known as Alice or that she was an aspiring art thief. She might have made the big time if her gang hadn’t accidentally murdered one of its marks. Now, her old friend Max has re-emerged to coax her back into the game. The gang’s new ringleader is a mysterious American named Franklin D. Tyler; after he fakes a shooting to test her reaction under pressure, she knows that she can’t trust a word he says. Tyler arranges a heist on a seemingly closed antiques shop, but soon the thieves find themselves descending into a subterranean compound full of trained killers, and they must use their wits and any available weapons to stay alive. This is not a typical con’s-last-job story; instead, Boote’s novel turns into a macabre survivalist fantasy, complete with hand-to-hand combat and hostages burned alive. The story’s English landscape lends itself to witty Cockney dialogue, and the author makes clear the class division between Kim, an astute academic, and Tyler’s henchmen, who speak in rough slang. The nonstop action is sometimes exhausting, and Boote leans heavily on pop-culture references, as when a character is reminded of the films The Sound of Music, Iron Sky, and Outpost in quick succession. However, the author also capably describes his characters’ fear, and reluctant courage, in the face of homicidal maniacs. Most of the novel feels cinematic, and the finale is particularly easy to imagine as an action-movie denouement. Boote also adds some depth to his story by using fine art and mythology to embellish his theme: was Pandora’s box a story of releasing evil into the world, or is it about natural human curiosity? Meanwhile, Kim is torn between the security of her new life and the thrill of breaking the rules.

This thriller relies on a lot of suspense-genre tropes, but it’s richly imagined, and its characters are fun to follow—even into deadly catacombs.

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

CRAZY BUSY
Thriller,Horror

"The Apocalypse has begun… and there’s no clocking off." Jim’s holiday has ended oddly. People are acting weird, and his girlfriend, Ruthie, has made the strange decision she prefers a weekend working in her office over his company. But if that’s odd, Jim’s first day back at his job reveals just how weird the world has become in his absence. All his colleagues are fixated on getting their work done… and pronto. Jim is also pressed to use a new computer app.; Benny The Bee – the latest in neuro-linguistic programming, guaranteed to boost anyone’s productivity. But Benny is addictive – dangerously so. Once stung, you can’t stop working. You don’t want to stop. Ever. And Jim realises that Ruthie has been stung. The word “deadline” quickly takes on a new and frightening meaning as those exposed to the app. become increasingly unhinged and violent. Can Jim avoid being stung by Benny The Bee? Can he figure out a way to rescue Ruthie from Benny’s addictive influence? And will Jim’s colleagues even let him out the office alive? It look’s like Jim’s first day back at work is going to be his last. Crazy Busy is a disturbing urban nightmare about the modern work ethic which asks, “Just what might happen if work really ruled all our lives?”

Published:
ISBN: B006URMBTK
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MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Science Fiction

“Haunting” - Tangent Online. Gemma wants out. A “Gester” for her pimp, Maddox, Gemma sells her body for unprotected sex with carefully-screened clients in a futuristic London. The resulting foetuses are aborted at five months to provide valuable material for bio-medical research and treatment. It’s good money, everyone’s a winner… despite the ever-present inter-gang rivalry that could get her killed any day. But the lifestyle is taking its toll, and though she thinks she can keep working till the end of her contract, Gemma is fast approaching burn-out. She's even planned a getaway from this dangerous life, just in case. Then one night a stranger throws a birthday party for her, and her resolve unravels. Gemma decides to make a break for freedom. But can she? And will her veteran bodyguard, Walt, help her, or stop her? Life, love and death have never been so personal… until now. Many Happy Returns was originally published in sf and fantasy magazine, Altair, in 1998, and described by Tangent Online as “…the best story of the magazine… The author's knack for characterization warrants a watchful eye for his future work.”

Published:
ISBN: B006S84C3E
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