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Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler Urban Fantasy Fantasy Photography

Chasing Azrael

From Urban Fantasy and Gothic Fiction author Hazel Butler...
When Andee Tilbrook's husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough. Mired in grief, she clings to James's spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living.

But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him. They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband's death.

Torn between new feelings for Josh, and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature-and do it all in time to save her own life.

The Perfect Read for Fans of Dark Fantasy and Gothic Fiction

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What The Pros Are Saying

This has to be one of the most amazing reads I've had the pleasure of losing myself in. Dark, twisted, and intense, this book dug its claws into me and pulled me deeper and deeper into this brilliantly insane story that gave me chills on more than one occasion. Always one step ahead of me, Butler upped the suspense with each turn of the page, throwing curveball after curveball, leaving me breathless and just a tad bit terrified. I wasn't sure if it was the paranormal elements, or the psychotic tendencies of certain characters that had me looking over my shoulder, but it was thrilling from start to finish. Well-paced, eloquently written, and rich with intriguing characters, this was a great mix of murder mystery, paranormal thriller, and horror. I was on the edge of my seat as Andee uncovered the truth behind her past, as well as the bizarre events that brought her closer to death. This book stirred many questions within me, and I felt like I was a part of the cast, actively seeking answers, alongside Andee and her friends. If you love delving into the unknown, while clutching onto your own sanity, this book will enthrall you to no end. Spectacular in every way, this was one read that will haunt me for a very long time.
Roxy's Reviews
A tensely written narrative and paranormal fantasy. A very interesting read that captures the reader and pulls you into the world that the characters inhabit.
Bouncing Tiger Reads
I've never read this author before but I really enjoyed it. I do wish that certain words would have had a brief definition at the bottom of the page. I know the A&E is like the ER but I forget what it means. The book starts shortly after the death of Andrea's husband. It is two years later and she's still trying to piece together her life which isn't helped by the fact that she can see ghosts including her dead husband. Snippets of what happened that night are sprinkled throughout although I think I might have preferred the book to have just started with the events that unfolded that night but that didn't stop me from reading. I found this an easy book to read. I really like the friendships that Andrea has. So many books are really lacking in that department. I realize that it has to be hard to figure out what to put in a book and often the friendships are overlooked for other elements of the story. Lily thinks that Andrea might be having feelings for Josh so she's dealing with that while crazy stuff goes down with his latest girlfriend. Things get very strange when a body washes up on the beach. This is a crazy ride that is perfect for those who enjoy friendships in books and paranormal elements along with a twisty ride. Characters in this book also suffer from depression. So if depression or suicide are triggers for you steer clear of this book. I really enjoyed it and think fans of Patricia Cornwell will enjoy this book. I also like that Andee as her friends call her isn't afraid to be herself which is a bit weird but I find that to be what I like best about her. I think this series is off to a great start and I look forward to reading more.
Fic Gal
The first thing which caught my attention was the book cover followed by the blurb. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was intrigued enough to take part in the blog tour. This is the first book I have read by Hazel Butler and she has made a very positive impact on me I confess when I started the book, I wasn't enamoured with the setting and Andee's attitude. The first couple of pages almost had me turning back from reading it. But I am glad I proceeded because after the introduction of Natalya, there wasn't even one second to be bored. Andee's maudlin aura kind of grew of me as I came to know her. Both Andee and Josh have their own set of flaws but they suit the story very well. The tale has a deathly taint to it and it is full of gothic atmosphere with the right amount of thrilling aspects. The plot is full of twists with the mysterious incidents and characters. The story is rich in various aspects and it has its set of tense moments. It was a very fast read and I was eagerly turning the pages to know the ending. If you love to read a book of cross genres, then this will suit you with the right mix of paranormal, ghostly, mystery-thriller and mythological aspects. The author has caught my attention with her dark tale. And I look forward to trying her other books in the future.
The Book Drealms
There is a murder, a mystery, and a girl who can see ghosts. Also a detective who looks like Sean Bean. All excellent qualities in any story. The prose style is exquisite, the pacing is fast, and everything draws you through the story without you even realising it. There are some very serious issues dealt with, wrestled with, and taken hold of throughout and the author doesn't shy away from any of them. The fact that the protagonist can see ghosts is treated as a very by-the-by issue for much of the novel. I found this refreshing. All too often you would have the character freaking out for a good five or six chapters, but here it is just sort of accepted and we can all get on with the story. Andee is a very lovable character and you really find yourself rooting for her and I was punching the air when she told one of my least favourite characters to shove off. You go, girl! All in all, as fantasy / horror / romance stories go, this is up there with the best of them.
Joel CornahSci-Fi & Fantasy Network
Hazel has a unique authorial voice that reminded me (in places) of Joyce Carol Oates. There's an ominous gothic tone that resonates in the background of the story - from the description of the architecture, the locations and the references to famous literature. The reader is never quite sure what might happen next and seemingly light sections of the novel takes dark and twisted turns. Our protagonist Andee is difficult. She's insular, unsure, highly intelligent and yet socially awkward. At times this makes empathising with her difficult, and as a reader I was unsure whether to admire her stoicism or to loathe her coldness. The first quarter of the novel kept me switching from these thoughts quite quickly, and it's only when I started to piece together the flashbacks of her life with James (her dead husband) that I fell into the admiration camp. Andee has had it rough. And that's an understatement. It's no wonder she comes across as prickly, and at one point she refers to herself as a hedgehog, which fits perfectly. It takes a lot to crack the surface of our ghost-seeing university lecturer, and I'm still not sure if any of her friends know the real Andee... The story is a paranormal mystery. There are ghosts, Russian mythology and legends, murders, police investigations and angels of Death. I've heard from another reader that they felt this was more of a paranormal romance...errr....no. I won't spoil the story, but if this is a romance then I'm quite concerned as to the mechanisms of their love-life! Let me reassure you, dear reader, that this is not for those that love the happy-ever-after endings whereby the sweet prince carries off the maiden into the sunset! In relation to mythology, Hazel has done her research. There are snippets of The Snow Queen, the Seal of Solomon and other legendary creatures. For those that are new to Russian and Slavic folk stories and fairytales, Hazel gently explains the stories without info-dumping. I admired the natural flow of conversations between the characters and the pace of the book. As I mentioned at the start, I read this in one sitting and the only times I did stop for a bathroom break, I was stopping at a `good' bit - a splash of humour, an indulgent picnic, a murder, a police interview where the darkness of a character's past comes back to haunt them...delightful. The characters are a mixed bag. Some I (obviously) preferred to others, but they were all well layered. No-one was truly good or evil - indicative, I like to think, of real life. Their character growth was good. I invested several hours reading the book and I came away feeling satisfied. The main story arc has a fine conclusion, but leaves the door open for other stories.
Sammy H.K. SmithPublisher, Grimbold Books
Chasing Azrael is a paranormal thriller about an unwilling necromancer who gets entangled in difficult relationships. Andee Tilbrook, the heroine in the story, has always been surrounded by death and when her husband committed suicide, she becomes more engrossed with the dead. Imagine a world where one can see and talk to the ghosts of people who are long dead and, on the other hand, face the realities of everyday life. As such, this is a dialogue driven narrative that will change the reader’s ideas about death and dying. It is a love triangle where one of the characters involved is already lying in the cemetery. And above all, this is a story of undying love, a love that could lead to death so that it can be fulfilled. Chasing Azrael is quite a compelling read.
Maria BeltranReaders' Favorite
Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler is a paranormal thriller with a little bit of romance thrown into the mix. Intriguing, and distinctly gothic, Chasing Azrael is a dark and haunting story. Chasing Azrael is told in a first-person narrative. It is set in the UK, and there is a fair bit of colloquialisms. There is a lot of violence, mild sexual content, and a modicum of bad language. The plot is action packed and steadily proceeds at Mach 1 from the first page to the last. There is a long list of characters, and they are reasonably well developed. Andrea, known as Andee to her friends, is an archaeologist and professor who sees and speaks with ghosts. She is a loner and rather prickly; she even refers to herself as a hedgehog. Her high intelligence is offset by her social awkwardness. She reveals little of herself to her friends and co-workers. Through flashbacks of her life with her late husband, James, readers glean some insight into Andee. Robert McFarlan is a renowned detective from Wales. He is known not only for his case-solving abilities, but also for taking on rather peculiar cases. Coincidentally, Robert met Andee when her husband, James, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. He is a calm, mature presence, and he openly accepts and encourages Andee’s ability to speak with the dead. I hope this very likable and interesting character has a bigger role in future books in the series. I found Joshua, best friend to Andrea’s late husband, quite unlikable. Overall, I couldn’t find a reason to care about this character. He was so controlling of Andee, and he mocked her ability to see/speak with the dead. I couldn’t fathom why she tolerated him at all. Throughout the reading, I waffled between believing he was a good guy or a bad one. Andee’s other good friend, Lily, was my outright favorite character. She is a great blend of smart and sassy! Chasing Azrael takes on a few heavy issues including grief, depression, and mental illness. The treatment isn’t disrespectful, and the author doesn’t delve too deeply into those issues. In addition to mental health issues, ghosts, murders and police investigations, Butler includes some well-researched fairy tales, Russian folklore, and legend. These tales are expertly and organically included without feeling like a lecture or a data dump. Chasing Azrael has a unique premise. It is well written and never boring. There is never a dull moment due to all that is packed into the story, and overall, I found it to be a good fright and a good read.
Book Junkie Reviews
Andee is definitely one of the most unique characters that I have ever met. She's dark and she makes my heart ultimately break. Andee is someone who is socially ostracized for her unique abilities. I'm not going to lie, this is a very long book but the fact that I got halfway through it just after the first day is definitely an accomplishment for myself. I kind of fell in love with Andee. Want to know why? She's weird and she isn't afraid to show it. She's damaged. She's smart. She's brave. There are times that I wish that I could just insert myself in the story because the scary part about it is that this book is a sick mix of Edgar Allen Poe and some crazy mix of fantasy. I just can't get enough of this book. Now personally, this whole book was a whole lot of crazy shite that I cannot even wrap my head around. It's centered on European myths and it truly was a terrifying and different take on the books that I usually read. It still had its creepy love story in the background but I can't deny that this was an interesting book. With a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, I can say that if you love creepy books and urban myths and folklore, this is definitely a book for you.
Amy's Review Obsession
Chasing Azrael was an atmospheric page-turner. By the time I picked this one up, I had no idea what it was about anymore. It turned out to be so much better than anticipated; an incredible mix of the paranormal and Russian folklore with a mystery surrounding a series of murders and dealt with issues such as mental illness, depression and obssession. The main character Andee is an archaeologist but also has a strange gift which is very helpful to her in her career; she can see, communicate and interact with ghosts! Awesome, right? She is a troubled soul struggling with depression almost all her life but even more so in the wake of her husband, James, death. He too had his demons but Andee loved him nonetheless even though she didn’t know as much as she thought she knew about him and his ‘condition’. The more the story unfolds, the more we get to see the strange but intense relationship these two had, and it’s very touching yet at times left me mad that she went through so much grief in the name of love, just because really important information about the truth of James problems that could have helped her, was kept from her by the people who she is closest to. Sad, very sad. There is a lot more to the story including a vengeful ghost out for blood, so powerful and driven by rage that she is corporeal and able to impact the physical world. She manages to convince just about anyone who had seen her that she was alive. Andee has to use her unique gifts, even at the risk of persons labelling her as crazy, if she is to save the people she loves and herself, because the ghost has also been tasked with taking her life. The characters , both main and supporting are so well written that I daresay the author has drawn upon personal experiences with some of the issues dealt with in Chasing Azrael. I like the way the Title is woven throughout the story until the meaning becomes clear. There are so many cool elements within this story that I could probably write a book about them. This is one you will want to read and experience for yourself. I can promise that you will not see some of the twists coming and they will leave you gasping in shock. If I had any issues with this, it’s that at times it seemed like it was meandering which made it seem longer than it was. Overall, an engrossing , suspenseful, atmospheric, somewhat dark and spooky tale, with quite a few unpredicitable often shocking twists and reveals, which translates into a highly entertaining and gripping read. I most definitely recommend this to those who like their tales suspenseful mixed with a a bit of spookiness, and their protagonists broken and flawed.
Wow. Besides the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, I have never read another book narrated by a character in her twenties or above. I definitely wasn't used to Andee's POV, but I grew to like it. Chasing Azrael was an intriguing tale of death. I was hooked by the first chapter, especially the opening sentence. The flashbacks at the end of most chapters were fascinating and really provided a background to the story of Chasing Azrael. Chasing Azrael was eternally twisted and full of plots. The mystery of Natalya was ongoing but there were also many other mini mysteries which kept me interested and hooked. Chasing Azrael is definitely the ghost story I've read in a long time. Andrea Tilbrook sees ghosts, but that's not all. She denies her abilities like her mother, but then her life and the lives of her loved ones are in danger, and the only thing that might save her is her ability. I really enjoyed Chasing Azrael, and I can't wait to read more form Hazel Butler.
Paranormal Books
Chasing Azrael tells the story of Andee, a young archaeologist who sees ghosts – including that of her husband, who killed himself two years before the start of the story. Haunted by his spirit and unable to move on, Andee becomes obsessed with death and barely able to cope with the real world. She turns to her two best friends for support, but when one of them, Josh, becomes the target of a strange and dangerous woman wanted for several murders, Andee is dragged into the investigation. Part ghost story and post mystery-thriller, Chasing Azrael is an intriguing and atmospheric read that evokes a distinctly gothic feel. The word that kept coming to mind when I was reading it was creeptastic. Creeptastic descriptions, creeptastic paranormal elements, creeptastic plot. Butler draws you into this dark yet strangely enchanting story that, while set in contemporary times, feels otherworldly. The references to angels of Death and other dark legends, the shadowy tone that envelopes the whole book, the twisted plot – it all comes together to form a sometimes disturbing yet overall entertaining read. As a protagonist, Andee is relatable yet far from perfect. She's a brilliant university lecturer yet rather awkward and something of a loner. Her personality comes off as prickly and detached at times, yet it's understandable. After all, it can't be easy being haunted by the spirit of someone you love. All kinds of thoughts and emotions swirl beneath the surface, and yet it seems she reveals little of the real Andee to those around her. All in all, Chasing Azrael is a creeptastic (that word! again!) paranormal mystery and contemporary gothic tale. There are romantic elements, and yet the story isn't an outright romance. I think this book will appeal to anyone who likes their books veiled in shadow and tinted black.
Mary FanAuthor, The Jane Colt Trilogy
So, first up, probably the most defining feature of this book is the way it explores depression and bipolar disorder. The main character, Andee, deals with her own depression as well as her deceased husband's bipolar (although, he doesn't have that now he's a ghost... but he is still a bit of a douche - because that had nothing to do with the bipolar... that was just him). But, it's OK... in sweeps the husband's best friend, Josh, who's had the decency to butt out for the two years since the tragic suicide of hubby, and not utter a word about his love of Andee that he's harboured for quite some time... Instant book-boyfriend there, right? Right?! Just me? No... I think not. OK. I'm risking talking this down with my tone. Thing is, I love the rough-around-the-edges-kind-of-bad-guy-comes-good main man. So, yes, I admit, Josh as a character was a major pull as far as my interest in this book goes. But the whole storyline keeps you going. It's a who-dunnit complicated by the fact that ghosts are real and some of them can influence the world of the living... maybe even kill... And I don't even want to go near any spoilery stuff. So, if you like something along the lines of paranormal-mystery with a good dollop of goth, and a dash of "Nooo! Don't let it be as the narrative is hinting it might be... MUST. KEEP. READING to find out!"... then, yeah, this might just be the book for you.
Deb E. HowellAuthor, Healer's Touch
I could not put this book down. I stayed up past the witching hour reading this book on more than one occasion and was sorely tempted to just read the whole thing in one sitting, but my day job had other ideas (apparently they like their employees conscious). At any rate, this was astoundingly well-written, one of the best written debut novels I’ve read in some time. The characters were engaging and realistic, nothing felt forced, the action was superb, and the pacing was just right. I loved the bits of mythology that were woven throughout the tale, but I would have been interested in seeing a bit more of the backstory on some of the ghosts (because I’m the curious type, not because I think it would help the story – it would probably bog it down if it were in there). Honestly, late at night was the best time to read this book because there was quite a bit going on, which required a level of concentration I’m not usually afforded at my house. It doesn’t have a happily-ever-after ending, but that’s okay because I think the way it ended is the right way for the story to go. All in all, this is another book I can’t recommend highly enough, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Deathly Insanity series to be released!
Kay KaufmanAuthor, A World of their Own
Voici un roman qui m’intrigue. Non pas l’histoire mais le protagoniste. Andee (aka Andrea) a perdu son mari lors d’un accident et depuis on a l’impression que la mort la poursuit. Ouais, c’est un peu l’idée… Andee me rappelle de loin Abby dans la série NCIS. Vous savez la scientifique qui est déjantée et gothique. Eh bien, c’est le même délire en moins délirant. En effet, Andee est une gothique lolita qui bosse dans la police en tant qu’archéologue, et surtout elle est… fermée sur elle-même. Elle ne m’intéresse pas trop comme personnage, elle est là parce que c’est l’héroïne de l’histoire mais sans plus. Par contre, il y a un personnage qui m’intéresse et c’est une russe du nom de Natalya. Complètement déjantée cette meuf. Pour l’instant , partout où elle passe la mort n’est pas loin sauf qu’à la différence d’Andee, elle donne l’impression de la provoquer. Sinon, d’un point de vue histoire, l’ensemble n’est pas mauvais. On est entrainé entre le passé et le présent. Entre la pseudo course poursuite entre Natalya et Andee. Et surtout, il y a un truc qui me chiffonne, c’est l’apparition de créatures magiques. Est-ce un délire d’Andee ou une réalité ? Suspense. Hazel Butler est une écrivaine qui a du talent, mais j’aimerais qu’elle dynamise un peu plus son protagoniste. Merci à Hazel Butler et Xpresso Book Tours pour ce service presse.
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What The Readers Are Saying

ReaderAmazon Top 500 Reviewer
This book engaged me very quickly, and I ended up reading it over the course of about a day and a half, enjoying the entire experience. On the surface, this is a psychological thriller/paranormal mystery/romance, and the book adheres to the reasonable expectations readers have for all three of those genres. This perhaps includes some of the less fortunate expectations, such as a bit of gender stereotyping (although not nearly as much as in other books I have read). Deeper down, however, the book deals with mourning and melancholy, differences between, and the intermingling of, grief and depression. It's poignant, and Butler makes you care about her characters. Which brings me to another refreshing aspect of this book: the sympathetic protagonist. It seems like it has been decades since I have read a book with a likable protagonist. Since the 1990s, most books (the ones for grown ups, anyway) I read have main characters who are insufferably good, insufferably bad, insufferably narcissistic, insufferably clueless, or insufferably quirky. Andee seems human. Smart. Not perfect. Not awful. A little clueless but not completely self-absorbed. The dialogue is well-crafted, which is good, because there is a lot of it. There is also a fair amount of action. Between those aspects of the story, the book goes fast. I recommend it for romance novel readers, people who like the Vampire Chronicles (this is not as dark but it did feel similar to me), and fans of the various female detective series out there. I do not recommend it for anyone who lacks patience with romance/serial drama themes. I am very much looking forward to the next installment.
BillionAmazon Reviewer
Ghosts plus a Murder mystery that is hard to put down. First of all I have to say I only came across this book as I know the author and it is not a genre I would usually read. That said I found it gripping and very hard to put down. The plot is fast paced and the combination of ghost story and murder mystery I found exciting and unusual. The main characters were almost painfully real and the details of psychology, archaeology and the location were well researched and observed.
Heather BelleAmazon Reviewer
Hazel is a very talented author and I was hooked from the start. I really couldn't put the book down and barely got any sleep until it was finished. The story was dark, intense and spooky, I had shivers down my spine, but in a good way. It was so descriptive and well-researched that I followed it easily. The ending was very clever. I can't wait for her next book!
Brad AshlockAmazon Reviewer
The story really pulls you in from the beginning. I loved the Gothic setting of crumbling buildings and gargoyles with echoes of Lovecraftian universities. Butler has to juggle paranormal romance with mystery; I was impressed with how seamlessly she brought different genres together to help tell her tale. Beneath all of that is a poignant theme of mental illness and depression that helps make everything cohesive. I wasn't sure how much I liked the protagonist in the beginning, but as I got to know her more, and got more with the flow of the dialogue, she became more interesting and sympathetic. One quibble - Butler once in a while throws out flowery, thesaural words--slight distraction, but not a major issue. I highly recommend this book to fans of gothic romance and thrillers.
Dee HarrisonAmazon Reviewer
This is an involving read about a widow, her grief and murder. Andee makes for an engaging main character and her ability to see dead people is both a gift and a curse. Ms Butler does a sterling job of making her characters seem real and of building up the suspense. Great Sunday afternoon read.
Samantha WatkissAmazon Reviewer
Converted to the Dark Side! Not my usual 'chic-lit' read but I'm a convert. This book was not only very visually descriptive, well researched and very well written but it was absolutely gripping,I couldn't or didn't want to put it down it even came along on the school run and was read outside the gates! I really felt like I got to know the characters and after spending much time in the area I could easily visualise the setting where the author is said to have got her inspiration from. Who needs any other form of entertainment when you are reading a book of this calibre!! I now return to my usual (now somewhat less exciting) 'chic-lit' and eagerly await further books on the series to follow -hopefully the wait won't be too unbearable! And thank you Ms Butler for opening my eyes and mind and converting me to this slightly darker genre!
Noree CosperAmazon Reviewer
Immediately when I began reading this book drew me in. I feel in love with eh writing style, which is a little strange because I usually don't like wordy novels. Maybe it was the main character Andee. She is trapped in a pit of depression, wishing for death, but never really getting the courage to kill herself. It doesn't help that she can see and communicate with ghosts, and her dead husband has lingered, preventing her from truly moving on. Andee really made me feel for her through the entire book. There were a few points where I thought the story didn't make since, but they actually came together later in the story in some "whoa" moments. The plot was very well weaved. This book has a very Gothic feel to it and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good ghost story.
ReggieAmazon Reviewer
Well researched horror story. About a female Doctor who sees and can converse with the deceased a Necromancer. Azrael often identified with the Archangel of Death. In this story which I enjoyed,death was a factor throughout the book. I felt that the characters portrayed were accurate to this type of story. Again I enjoyed this and would recommend it to readers of this genre.
Steve HarperAmazon Reviewer
Full disclosure: This book is written by a friend of mine, and the review is based on an advance copy. A young archaeologist can see the spirits of the dead - including her husband who killed himself two years ago. She is barely coping with the support of her two best friends, but when one of them falls under the spell of a strange new woman and people begin to die, Ande has to try to come to terms both with her loss and her powers. Reading a friend's work is often difficult, but after finishing the first few chapters that she gave me, I demanded the rest of the book immediately! The most common complaints that I have about books is either that the plot doesn't make sense, or that I didn't care about the characters. Neither of these is a problem here. The main characters were well drawn and mostly likeable. Even when they show their flaws, I still wanted to know what happened to them, hoping all the time for a happy ending. Their actions are natural and the plot develops around them, gathering speed towards the climax. The resolution is fitting and flows logically from everything that has gone before. Some plot threads are left hanging, but I've been promised that they will be picked up and resolved as the series goes on. Chasing Azrael kept my interest throughout, and at the end I still wanted to know more about the characters and what will happen to them in the future. What more need I say to recommend it?
L.A. KaneAmazon Top 1000 Reviewer
This book is not only a fantastic debut novel, but a far better entry into the urban fantasy genre than I have read in some time. Supernatural aspects of the tale augment the character study rather than obscure it, as the heroine’s ability to commune with the dead allows her to cling to her departed husband’s spirit while slowly losing touch with the joys of living. The author covers some pretty heavy topics—loss, grief, obsession, even murder—in a fresh and compelling way. With outstanding dialogue, credible characters, and a compelling plot, Chasing Azrael is an excellent read. I not only recommend it, but can’t wait for the second installment in the series. Lawrence Kane Bestselling author of Blinded by the Night and ten other books
T. HomyardAmazon Reviewer
Wow! I couldn't put this down! When's the next book? Wow! What a page turner! All I can say is that I am really hoping for a sequel. The main character Andee is an incredibly complex character and you really get to know her and her small but trusted group of friends. There is so much packed into this amazing book - archeology, ghosts, Sean Bean lookalikes, russian folklore, murder, revenge, suicide, mental health...yet it's such an easy and captivating read. There are so many twists, the book keeps you guessing right to the end. I loved this book and found it hard to put down. It is the best that I have read in such a long time and I would highly recommend it. I think that Hazel Butler is an author to watch. She is going to be huge.
Sharon VickersAmazon Reviewer
A Gripping Read. This is a brilliantly written book which had me gripped from the start. The characters are described in such detail and depth that it really pulls you in and makes you want to read on. I felt a real empathy with the characters in the book and am really looking forward to reading a sequel, hopefully there will be one. The various themes explored in the book are well defined and expertly written providing an interesting insight into a number of complex issues. I look forward to seeing where the author and the characters take us next.
W. KirklandAmazon Reviewer
This book surprised me. I didn't expect to like Chasing Azrael very much - generally shying away from stories ghost-related, feeling that it's all been incredibly over-done, but I loved it! The story is about a widow who is finding it difficult to move on with her life because she is visited by the ghost of her dead husband, among others. When her late-husband's best-friend - one of only a few people left that she cares for - begins a new relationship with a woman that Andee can't help but feel unnerved by, the events that follow force her to face some truths about herself and the people that she loves and propels her into the beginning of a personal metamorphosis. I fell in love with the characters. Most-of-all the grumpy cat and the sassy best friend! The story is action-packed never leaving you bored, always with some hook that urges you to carry on reading. I read the entire book in two sittings, compelled by the storyline to keep reading and the ending leaves you satisfied and with an exciting promise for the future of the characters with more to come. I can't wait for the next book in the series! This book gave me food for thought - always a plus when a book makes you re-think your outlook on things. I found myself considering what exactly makes a strong female protagonist. I usually love books where the heroine goes around kicking people's butt's, but somehow Butler has created a main character that is a very strong woman without endowing her with super-strength or martial arts. I would definitely recommend reading Chasing Azrael and I look forward to reading more from the Deathly Insanity series!
J.P.Amazon Reviewer
Sometimes I pick up a book by an author I’ve never read before and don’t know what to expect. I read the blurb for Chasing Azrael and from what little I know of Ms. Butler, I expected to be entertained by her debut novel. I did not expect Chasing Azrael to be so emotionally honest while dealing with issues such as the paranormal, mental illness, and grief. Andrea, Josh, and Lily are a quirky bunch of friends coping with their shared grief over the death of Andrea’s husband when Josh’s new girlfriend changes the group dynamics. Easily dismissed at first, Natalya’s antics soon become deadly and Andrea must use her paranormal gift as a necromancer to stop her. Josh and Lily help along with the mysterious Detective Robert McFarlan who has some experience with the paranormal and doesn’t mind using Andrea’s gift to solve the crimes plaguing their town. Despite the grim situations the characters find themselves in the author manages to inject touches of humor while building a credible mystery that will leave readers wanting more. Hazel Butler is one of those rare authors who just get it and know exactly what to say or not to say to keep readers turning the page. Chasing Azrael was an absolute delight to read. Highly recommended!
Michelle CorryAmazon Reviewer
COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!! I came across this on my Facebook. Not really the type of book I would normally go for but the reviews seemed good so I bought it. So glad I did as I couldn't put it down. I read it almost constantly until it was finished as I just had to know what happened next. I now can't wait for the next ones which are in the process and I would most definitely recommend this to everyone.
Mrs Denise SmithAmazon Reviewer
COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!! I came across this on my Facebook. Not really the type of book I would normally go for but the reviews seemed good so I bought it. So glad I did as I couldn't put it down. I read it almost constantly until it was finished as I just had to know what happened next. I now can't wait for the next ones which are in the process and I would most definitely recommend this to everyone.
ReaderAmazon Reviewer
Murder, ghosts, intimacy, mystery and a lead character that isn't 18! Every thing I love in a good book. I thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Azrael and had a hard time putting it down. I find with a large majority of books I can tell what is going to happen next and I get bored easily but not with this one I was kept guessing. The author addresses mental illness throughout the book which is an often tip toed around topic but she does it very well adding to the dynamics of a well written book. I particularly liked the main character Andrea and her development as I got to know her more. Lily is an awesome sidekick too. I am eagerly await reading the second book.
ReaderAmazon Reviewer
Ok, so this isn't the type of book that I would normally choose, but I am glad that I did. To begin with, this is a book about a woman who is grieving the loss of her husband. However, the protagonist can see, and speak to, ghosts, including her late lamented husband. Then, one of her friends, is seeing a woman that Andee has an unpleasant visceral reaction to. She can't explain why, but after a second bout of scrapping with Natalya in a pub, she knows better than to ignore the sensation. Her car is vandalised, ghosts start acting strangely (even for ghosts), and then there is an accident... I don't want to do spoilers... go, read the book... seriously, it costs less than a sub! The plot twists and turns a bit, although, I kind of worked it out, sort of, a bit, and then the plot twisted again, and I hadn't... There are a lot of Russian myths threaded into the plot, and there has clearly been a lot of research done, which I always appreciate in a novel. The characters feel real, the decription of bi-polar disorder is very real and offers an inisight into what it must be like living, not only with bi-polar, but with someone who suffers from bi-polar disorder. I found the book to be a pretty quick read, it keeps you engrossed and it isn't a chore to read (I have one of those on the go at the moment), I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for something a little bit different.