Book Reviews

Review: Saltblood by T.C. Parker

😮 This is a marvelous cover. Absolutely stunning.


A remote island. A group of prisoners. And an evil as old as time.

Robin didn’t mean to break the law. Didn’t know at first what law she’d broken. And now she’s on her way to Salt Rock – a new-model prison for a new kind of criminal, way out in the remote Northern Isles of Scotland.

On Salt Rock, she’ll meet other prisoners like her – men and women from all over the world, spirited away from the lives they knew for crimes they didn’t know they were committing.

She’ll uncover the complex web of conspiracy that connects them all, confronting some of the darkness of her own past in the process.

And she’ll come face to face, finally, with an evil as old as the land itself.

It’s hell in those waters.

Books with certain qualities, elements or style can be more appealing, of course to readers when they match up with the reader’s expectations and personal interests. Saltblood by T.C. Parker is one of those books, for me that not only matched up with expectations and interests, it’s intimate, genuine and original: it’s one of those stories that sticks on my side like blood sucking leech, stuck for life in a completely well way.

Great! I can eat chicken wings while reading again. 🤠

Now, let’s talk about those elements so that you may level with me. A dark penal system conspiracy, cut off from the rest of the world and a lurking, ancient monstrosity. But, as a need with any story, Saltblood is also is a great execution in style and form. Yes, there could be some slight improvements ( see my comments, just before recommendation section ), of course, but not much could really make this story any better. I’m not going to tell you what exactly to expect here, as not to spoil it – except that I consider this one of the best books I have ever read ( top 10, for sure ), however your mileage may vary.

Saltblood is appealing in it’s structure and nature. The story and writing are well put together. Elements of what might seem like superior alternatives to the modern penal system, but, then people are involved . . . and dark, unspeakable monsters. However, Saltblood is more than that for me and also a gentle reminder that superstitious lore is something worth paying attention to.

“Among the ranting drunks and the racists, she thought – the sex tape-makers and the activists, the wrong-place-wrong-timers and the kids too stupid or naive to keep their half-formed opinions to themselves, even when they knew other people were listening. They hide us here with them, in plain site. Protesters. Whistleblowers. Scapegoats who wouldn’t go down without a fight.” —T.C. Parker, Saltblood

One thing I learned in this book: horses can, in fact swim and better than you might think! Ha, ha. The only unfavorable thing I can say ( is there never not at least one thing? ) Is there should have been at least one run on paragraph, as locomotive trains of complete thought can be a stunning change of pace. I love hearing an extended train of thought in the form of a long-ass-paragraph. Other than that, I’m wondering why this book isn’t sitting on a news rack all over the country. Seriously.


Saltblood by T.C. Parker is a marvel in it’s own right. It doesn’t follow common trends, tropes or ideas ( that’s a beautiful thing ) and instead, builds on the merit of quality origination and welds a marvelous set of ideas into something that is truly horrifying, but also amazing. It’s not gorey or very profane: instead, it holds classiness. ★★★★★ Five stars out of five for this amazing, crafty work. T.C. Parker belongs on bookshelves everywhere.

Bonus Music:

Warning: you need bass speakers for this wholesome, eloquant song.

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

5 replies on “Review: Saltblood by T.C. Parker”

I’m not familiar with The Trial, but yes they were. The interpretation of the prison they are in and the details about it is what I found very interesting and gives me a hint that what we think might be simple solutions to common problems in a system aren’t so simple after all.

The book does explain that mystery . . . 🤠

The Trial by Franz Kafka. A man is arrested and never told what he is charged with. The opaque, bureaucratic “justice” process takes a year and ends with his execution.

I’ve never read it, only heard of it. I Wikied it just now and the summary makes me want to read it. It kind of reminds me of the adjudication process for university speech codes or Child Protective Services.

Spark the Camp 🔥: