Book Review

Review: The Chamber

The Chamber

Written by: Christopher Hawke

Encircle Publications, LLC


The Chamber takes readers deep into an asylum to solve a gruesome murder and challenge everyone’s sanity.

The Chamber has a compelling premise that can draw in any reader. However, for this particular reader, it was a struggle.


I wanted to like this book. I know the author; I am friends with them on social media, so I was elated when they gave me the book for free. The premise reminded me of Denise Lehane’s Shutter Island, so I was intrigued.

Unfortunately, I could not get into this book.

The Chamber was, unfortunately, a DNF for me. I know many readers do not like to leave reviews for books they DNF or feel it’s unfair, and I agree to a point. Do I feel it fair to review a book without finishing it and grasping its scope? It’s complicated. On the one hand, I agree, but I also think readers should be allowed to express why they were turned off from a book and why they didn’t DNF a book.

For me, the storytelling just didn’t flow. I liked the opening chapter. The fact that a heinous murder occurred at an asylum suggests that the doctor had something to do with it alongside a patient under his care.

There is a lot of intrigue there, but as the story progresses, I got bored. And I tried. I picked up this book twice, took a weekend break, figuring I was tired, and restarted the book fresh on Monday. I could not get into it.

The transitions from the cop to the asylum, again, didn’t flow together. And none of the characters were engaging. There was something lackluster about them. I simply couldn’t connect to them, which added to my struggle to stay engaged in the story. There was a stiffness in their personalities, and they lacked any sort of charisma. Usually, I like dark, broody characters, but something was missing, some depth that failed the characters.

I also found it hard to believe that since Detective Jacob Sterling’s wife was a recent former patient at this asylum, no one recognized him or even thought he was familiar. His wife was a patient there. At least one person would have to recognize him, so his being chosen to go undercover there without the assistance of someone in the hospital was unbelievable. Someone would know, someone would recognize him. And his whole attitude while being there was, again, not inspiring any reaction from me as a reader.

Final Thoughts

I really wanted to like The Chamber, but, unfortunately, when I’m sitting there struggling to read a book when it is difficult to hold my attention not once but twice, it is time to add it to the DNF pile.


An Unfortunate DNF - The Chamber Review

The Chamber takes readers deep into an asylum to solve a gruesome murder and challenge everyone’s sanity.

Character Development:
Writing Development:
Couldn't Put It Down-ness:

Cynthia Ayala-Bujnicki majored in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Editor-in-chief of Cyn's Workshop, she loves to read and write while tending to her pepper plants. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband, two kids Dante and Selene and two furbabies Mr. J the Kitten who Thinks He's Batman (yes, that is his full name) and Nyx.