There's a killer lurking in all of us. Sometimes you just don't know it.
Take Phil Mercer, for example, what dark secret from his past changes a decent man, and respected professional into a man with murder on his mind?
Down to earth Northerner, Phil Mercer, begins to question why so-called university friends failed to help him establish a practice at London's Criminal Bar.
Despite that and colleagues' professional jealousy, he goes on to achieve success as a fearless defender of society's less fortunate until his career is threatened by events triggered by something completely out of his control.
Figuring his life and career are about to change forever, Mercer strives to find a way to right wrongs by inventing a new parlour game called 'Comfort Zone.'
At a dinner party surrounded by colleagues he insists they all play the game. He introduces it after dinner as a 'storytelling game.'
He adds – "the easy choice is not an option at all. What terrifies you? What scares you shitless? Be brave. Be reckless. You are among friends. What can possibly go wrong? It's just a parlour game, right?"
The BookLife Prize Critic's Report
In this tense and savage thriller, a PTSD sufferer becomes a killer. Bentley has a clear handle on building suspense, while the focus on mental illness and trauma provides an anchoring force to the unconventional circumstances...
The concept behind this brutal and intense novel is highly original and will undoubtedly keep readers guessing...
Bentley creates an intriguing and complex character in Phil Mercer, effectively exploring the impact of trauma and an external brainwashing force. Readers will at moments sympathize with the lead character, even as his sadism emerges.
Fiction Runner-Up TopShelf Magazine Awards 2021
Comfort Zone was a fiction runner-up in the 2021 TopShelf Magazine Awards Edition announced in the August 2022 edition.
It received a special mention for intrigue.