Adventure takes on a whole new meaning when Doug Goodwin is betrayed, manipulated, praised and welcomed into a murderous cult with all the power and wealth imaginable. His moral compass constantly juxtaposed against his physical ability/actions kept my heart racing... The Circle was one of those can't-put-it-down kind of books that kept me flipping pages well into the night just to see how the next chapter ended, and then the next. Characters are developed enough to create attachment within the reader then pulled into the plot and dangled by a thread of fate and suspense. The Circle has the rapid progression and intense appeal of the ever-popular Divergent and The Hunger Games, but is laced with enough realism to plant the seed of fear -- or at the very least, mild suspicion -- in any reader now overanalyzing the world outside the book. Galgon brings to life a protagonist we can all root for and pity, a man whose background we can relate to but whose future we can only pray we never see. Highly recommend for any thrill-seeker or mystery lover!
- Shanna O'Mara, The Navesink Journal
Forced into a clandestine society of unnatural hunters, one young man attempts to hold on to his integrity, his humanity, and his life. Stephen J. Galgon’s THE CIRCLE is a unique psychological thriller that tantalizes readers with suspense while compelling them to question progressive society and whether they could kill to survive.
July 15, 2020
"Welcome to The Circle"
The Circle is a secret society of uber rich members who have everything they could ever want...to the point that they seek other ways to feel truly alive, and what better than life-and-death games of murder?
Everyday good guy Doug Goodwin finds himself ensnared into The Circle, and he quickly realizes that his life options have been boiled down to just 2: kill or be killed.
This book was a non-stop wild ride! Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author not only pulled the rug out from my feet, he rolled me up in it, and tossed me in the trunk! Twists upon plot twists kept me compulsively turning the pages.
The characters were well-developed, and I was almost instantly invested in Doug's predicament. The writing was fast-flowing and easy to read, making this book the perfect getaway into a world full of thrilling suspense! There's a reason why it's been nominated for so many book awards!!
July 12, 2020
OK so lemme just start my review with this quote that stuck with me and really just explains the whole entire book:
"You will hunt this target, a member of the Circle, to..his..death. Do you understand, Mr. Goodwin? At the same time, you will also be hunted. And your hunter, he will be hunted as well. This is the Circle of death that represents all of us, that defines us, unites us, gives our lives...purpose."
So when I read this paragraph, I immediately turn to my fiance and say, "let me read these couple of paragraphs to you because this is crazy" (crazy good!). This book is a kind of book that I have never read before, which just amazes me. The whole premise of this book is so original and the characters are original. There were a lot of characters in this book, and at times I found myself trying to remember who was who, but don't let that deter you from reading this because it really just adds to the plot.
The way the chapters are written cause for quick scene changes, which really builds this world. I loved that the chapters were also short, and that we saw different perspectives from other characters. Sometimes it was even a kind of mystery to who the chapter was about, which just caused for more suspense!
I could totally see this as a movie, and I hope one day it will be! Definitely check this one out if you're wanting to read something that's got some suspense, mystery and a great story line!
July 8, 2020
What a fantastic read, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time! He is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait time read more of his works!
July 7, 2020
“𝙳𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚕𝚊𝚜 𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍𝚠𝚒𝚗 𝚒𝚜𝚗’𝚝 𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚑. 𝙷𝚎 𝚒𝚜𝚗’𝚝 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞𝚕. 𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚜𝚘𝚌𝚒𝚎𝚝𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚃𝙷𝙴 𝙲𝙸𝚁𝙲𝙻𝙴 𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚋𝚕𝚢 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚑𝚒𝚖 — 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚐𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚛 𝚐𝚞𝚢 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚐𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚛 𝚓𝚘𝚋 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚐𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚛 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎?”
Have you ever read The Most Dangerous Game? It is one of my absolute favorite short stories. If you are unfamiliar with the plot, essentially, a man who no longer sees big game hunting as a challenge, decides that hunting people would better quench his thirst for a good hunt. Also, fans of Supernatural, I’m talking The Benders from Season 1, Episode 15.
I have always wanted to see this concept transformed into a novel, and Stephen Galgon not only did it but did it SO well.
Douglas Goodwin is introduced to a new club by his best friend, who swears it is a great, new hangout. Fascinated by the people inside the club, Douglas gets the opportunity to join the VIP lounge. From there, he learns that his visit to the club was purposeful. Douglas is immediately inducted into a secretive society called 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒊𝒓𝒄𝒍𝒆. Once you are in, there is no way out, no loophole to be found. He must either hunt or be hunted.
NETFLIX, AMAZON, SOMEONE!!! Please make this a movie. It would be perfection. This read JUST like an action movie, so much so that it could easily be turned right into a script. There was not a dull moment to be found from beginning to end. I finished this book incredibly fast. I felt crushed for Douglas, and his despair was my despair. His paranoia was my paranoia. AND THE ENDING. The twists, although I suspected some, still left me in utter shock. This is arguably more terrifying than any horror novel because the monsters are regular, everyday people.
I know that there are movies released recently that have a similar plot. However, this novel stands out because of the setting. The Circle takes place in a major city, making it nearly impossible to avoid people and hide. Doug never knows who is a part of the circle and who is not, which adds to the atmosphere of anxiety. You never know who he can trust or when someone is going to attack!
A gigantic thank you to Stephen Galgon and MJE Publishing for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. I need more of Mr. Archer as soon as possible!
July 6, 2020
Stephen is an indie author. When he reached out and I read the premise of the book I was all for reading it. And I couldn’t be more thrilled!! I hope at some point this gets turned into an audiobook. It would be fabulous! It would be a fabulous series
We have an elite club. One that if they deem you worthy enough you are a member even if you don’t want to be. The catch is you have to kill or be killed.
This book was action packed and I loved the twists in it. There were a few. So please look this book up and go buy it!! I promise you will not be disappointed!!
July 6, 2020
"Imagine you had all the money you ever wanted at the push of a button. The power to control law enforcement, politicians at the highest levels, the judicial system as a whole. To have what you want when you want it, whatever it is. All you have to do is kill someone . . . before someone kills you."
Well, all I gotta say is this thriller starts off with a literal bang! The novel is action packed from the very beginning. Following Doug's initiation into The Circle and the drama that unfolds in his new life was truly captivating.
What I loved: Doug was the best. I loved his character. He was very well developed and relatable. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. There is a large cast in this book, but each are described and detailed enough to be memorable. I found myself loving to hate them. I also enjoyed the plot of The Circle. I thought it was unique and suspenseful.
What I didn't love: This is a debut novel so there were some elements of the writing style I found a little difficult to follow. The verb tenses change often, but if you keep reading you will discover if it's a memory, dream or reality. This was also one of the few books I've read by a male author recently. The perspective is different, but I found it respectful.
I definitely recommend this book to fans of James Patterson.
Thank you to Stephen J. Galgon and MJE Publishing for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
July 2, 2020
I found this book to be totally captivating, much to the point where it actually took over my day. It was a manifestation of captivating suspense and creativity. This was an exceptional read and would highly recommend it to anyone
June 30, 2020
Not a genre I’d typically be interested in. This one in particular definitely has something special about. I enjoyed every part of the book from start to finish! 10/10 recommendation!!!
June 29, 2020
Think about the last book you read that had the most insane plot twist that literally left you with your mouth open, unable to process what just happened, making that book impossible to put down, not even for a second, until you finished reading every last page. Now picture a book that leaves you with that same feeling chapter after chapter with the most insane attention to detail and character development from the very first page. Just when you think you have it all figured out, The Circle makes you rethink everything you just read and takes you on a ride that not only captivates you as a reader but makes you question your own morals in a way that no other suspense novel I’ve read ever has. Go see for yourself.
June 27, 2020
The Circle by Stephen Galgon is an absolute essential addition to anyone’s summer summer reading list! The unique storyline pulled me in immediately and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The well positioned plot twists makes this book an extraordinarily satisfying read. I can’t wait for the sequel!
June 24, 2020
Suspense is not ordinarily the genre I choose, but this book was recommended to me and I was blown away by the story! The depth of the characters made them so believable, they seem like they could be people you know in your own life. I stayed up reading way too late, promising myself just one more chapter, one more page, one more paragraph. It’s so compelling! I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read more from the author.
June 24, 2020
This book has a unique story. Twists and turns all the way. A great new author that needs to be read!!
June 22, 2020
Great book! Twice read! Once last August, and again while quarantined 😊
June 22, 2020
I just felt the authors description of the characters was very well done. the book was a cool read and I really enjoyed it.
June 20, 2020
I loved this book so much. The story line was unique, the character development of Doug was great, the supporting characters were amazing you hate them but love them at the same time. I didnt want this book to end and so glad a sequel is in the works. Highly recommend this one to everyone that’s loves a great suspenseful thrilling read
June 16, 2020
I really found this book compelling. I found it a little slow in the beginning. but then I could not put it down. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Steven Galgon has joined my list of favorite authors.
June 14, 2020
Very unique plot with interesting characters. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes suspense and violence!
May 31, 2020
Talk about reading a book that is so well written, you feel like you’re watching a movie. 𝕀 𝕃𝕆𝕍𝔼𝔻 𝕀𝕋!⠀
Douglas Goodwin, a simple guy with an average job and everyday problems. He’s betrayed by his closest friend and recruited into a secret society that kills for a hobby. Kills other members! As Doug transitions through his phases of denial and resistance, he evolves as survival instincts kick in. If someone attacks you, you do everything you can to protect yourself. Even if that means to kill someone else. The story is packed with drama, action, and even a little sprinkle of romance. ⠀
This book is definitely a read for someone who enjoys action packed thrillers, with some violence, suspense, many twists and turns. I’m in love with the CIA/FBI/Secret society/conspiracy theory/government political plots type of books and movies. If you like any of that, you won’t be able to put this down. ⠀
Thank you to Stephen Galgon and MJE Publishing for sending me a copy to review with my honest opinion. I can’t wait till more people start reading this and we can scream about the ending!
May 29, 2020
Whew! This book was a wild ride, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Doug is an ordinary guy working as a tour guide in a museum until one day he is unknowingly inducted into an exclusive club, The Circle. The Circle is a group of people who hunt each other in order to survive. It’s kill or be killed. Each month every member receives the name of a member who they have to kill - friendship and loyalty outside of the safe house do not exist. Doug never wanted this, he desperately wants out. Will he join the others in killing or will he live the rest of his life in fear, waiting for a member to kill him? This was a thrilling read and I could really feel the anxiety and fear experienced by Doug. Very unique premise, highly recommend! Fans of The Chain will likely enjoy this one.
May 27, 2020
I am very into thrillers and mysteries but find myself being able to guess the ending before it happens. I could not with this book!! It kept me guessing till the very last page. He does a fabulous job of creating the characters which took for a slightly slower beginning but was WELL worth it for the rest of the book. I am thrilled that there will be a sequel and I can’t wait for it to come out!!!
May 16, 2020
From beginning to the very end the author takes you on an impossible human adventure. Will today be the day you hunt or are hunted. The answer to that question kept me turning page after page. I am an avid reader and don’t often suggest books I’ve read to others, but The Circle was so good I had no trouble telling others to do themselves a favor and read it. So looking forward to the sequel.
May 11, 2020
If you like mystery and suspense you will love this one. I was going to wait till I finished this book but I just couldn’t. The Circle is so intriguing, so detailed with twists and turns that just makes you want more. Two thirds through the book and again as I’m reading I’m just blown away, on a page that instantly took me back to the beginning of the read! I’m like “ Oh no!” Oh my God, just WOW!
Steven Galgon you’ve made me a big fan. I hope that you have a sequel ready soon.
Bob Howland 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
April 24, 2020
“The Circle” started off with a bang! From there I couldn’t put the book down. I truly enjoyed the idea behind the book with The Circle being a group of people who constantly are the hunters and the hunted. I thought the whole premise was very unique and the book was incredibly well written.
While reading this book I felt so tense and I was constantly on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. The fact that this book is getting a sequel makes me both happy and sad because I’m thrilled that there will be more, but I’m going to be waiting impatiently now for book two!
There were many twists and turns throughout the book that were shocking and unexpected! Reading this book mostly consisted of me saying “just one more chapter” because each one was more exciting than the next! I loved the characters and how unique they all were. Just don’t get attached to any of them! You never know what’s going to happen!
Readers who enjoy a fast plot, the thrill of the chase, and crazy action will love this book! I know I did!
April 23, 2020
“The Circle” is a great book! I’m not an avid reader, as I often get bored, but I found myself always wanting to get through one more chapter. It’s a well developed original thriller. It could really easily be developed into a show or movie. The story twists unpredictably, which makes it all the more riveting. I HIGHLY recommend it!!
March 2, 2020
This book is so blood pumping, page turning, exciting. The pace is fast and brilliant. I loved every single page! The plot is new and fresh. Just simply amazing!
I hope that big things come to Stephen with this book. It will be well deserved. It’s a wonderful book. I can NOT wait for the sequel! You’ve got a long term fan in me!
Read. This. Book!
January 12, 2020
This is hands down the best book I’ve read in a long time. HURRY WITH THE SEQUEL!! Grabbed me on page 1.. You will not be able to put it down!!! Definitely had me in the edge of my seat the entire time.
January 28, 2020
This book was an unexpected surprise. I read many many books in my life and this story was unique. I enjoyed the writing and at times couldn't wait to read what was coming next. I look forward to the sequel - curious as to what is in store.
December 11, 2019
The Circle was a great read! I couldn't put it down, found myself staying up way too late to continue to story, and thought about it while finding references throughout my day to connect to the plot. Galgon constructed a true page turner with quick, devour-able chapters, and intricate characters. I loved The Circle and can't wait to see what happens to Mr. Archer next!
November 6, 2019
I literally couldn't put this book down. It kept me on the edge of my seat. It played out like a thriller movie in my head. I could absolutely see this playing out as a movie or mini-series. The main character, Doug, is so relatable—so relatable you put yourself in his shoes and start to feel a little crazy yourself—checking around corners and on your toes wondering if The Circle really is real. I really enjoyed it.
October 2, 2019
Read this book in under a day! That is not something I do often anymore. Great idea, well developed characters, and the pace and suspense of the story will keep you turning the page!
September 18, 2019
Great story! Captured my attention immediately, moved quickly and I really felt for the main character's predicament.
Looking forward to the sequel!
September 10, 2019
The Circle is a fascinating world of NY power, money, love, and survival. Once you open the book it is almost impossible to put down. The author has weaved a complex tale about a secret society of aristocrats that makes the Masonic Temple look tame in comparison. It is a haunting psychological thriller with shocking surprises filtered throughout that kept me turning pages. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
September 4, 2019
Awesome read! Really took me as a reader into the world as it was portrayed. True suspense and so much emotion throughout the novel, I loved it so much I reread it as soon as I was done! Would highly recommend to anyone! Eagerly anticipating the sequel to find out what this writer has to bring next!
August 31, 2019
The Circle takes you through many twists and turns. The reader will feel true compassion for the main character, Doug Goodwin, as he copes with the reality that the Circle has brought upon him. The story sucks you in and you will find yourself saying “just one more chapter” in anticipation of what event will happen next. Highly recommend.
August 30, 2019
The Circle is full of intrigue, suspense and twists. I am not much of a reader as I prefer a movie instead but I read it in two days because I could not put it down! I loved all of the characters as well as the story line. Amazing read. You will not be disappointed. Looking forward to the sequel and hopefully the movie!
August 23, 2019
I've lost a night's sleep because of The Circle. I couldn't put it down and finished it this morning. Mr. Galgon weaves an exciting tale of excess, corruption, human nature and the depths that one would stoop to get anything ever wanted. Can't wait for the sequel!
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