This is no ordinary University....and the twists and turns are compelling.
— Jane Ferris, Poetic Monthly Magazine
Leever’s writing has improved markedly over his debut novel, Dark Friday. That horror thriller reveled in the elements of the 1980s slasher-movie genre, and this follow-up does the same, only in the realm of the occult pictures of the 1970s. Its college campus setting and on-the-verge hero also recalls more recent films like The Skulls and Urban Legend. Movies seem like a natural reference point for the novel, not only because it is so informed by them, but also because it reads like one: swift, unfussy, and highly visual.
— Rod Lott, Bookgasm: Reading Material to Get Excited About
Jeffrey Leever weaves an eerie occult tale in The University that has some terrific surprises in store for readers. He moves from viewpoint to viewpoint, giving out small clues from different perspectives....This story has some edge-of-your-seat and "wow" moments, some expected but some totally startling. Occult practices have a lot to offer as fodder for fiction and Leever definitely has a good imagination for plot and its requisite twists and turns.
Jeffrey Leever has written a suspense novel that's chock-full of mystery, unusual twists and turns, all in a setting we can relate to. It is amazing how he has interlaced the intrigue of his novel into a page turner that will not allow a reader the luxury of putting it down. It keeps tugging at you to read one more page. If you enjoy a suspenseful and intriguing novel with a mystery you can’t figure out, you will enjoy The University by Jeffrey Leever.
The story that is uncovered is one that is terrifying and unbelievable. Not only are students involved in the horrors but also even some of the faculty is involved. The University is a fascinating mystery that will keep the reader guessing every step of the way.
Jeffrey Leever’s previous book Dark Friday introduced Kevin Gibson and was an excellent read. Each book is a stand-alone but both well worth reading.
Dark Friday is all the more frightening because of its plausibility. The gripping tale begins with a rush, and unfolds into a classic mystery that eventually sidles into the spiritual world. The book reads like a true crime story.
In one terrifying night death stalks the streets of a peaceful rural Indiana town and the town’s small police force is stretched to its limit to solve the puzzle. But capturing a criminal doesn’t stop the nightmare. In the twisting plot, Dark Friday becomes much more than a horror story; it delivers a satisfying tale of redemption.
Leever’s characters are well grounded with dead-on dialog and plausible action. The story’s time shifts reveal bits and pieces of both action and character that whet the reader’s appetite for explanation. The rural Indiana setting is well drawn, becoming an integral part of the story.
Dark Friday is a satisfying read for those who enjoy a pulse racing page turner and we look forward to more from this Blue Springs author.
— Linda Carrell, Parkside Books Newsletter
In a small town in Indiana, all hell has broken loose. Five teenage girls have been murdered on the same night but in different places all over the town. Another has been brutally attacked but may survive. The police chief has been wounded in a chase but has the killer in jail.
Is the young, timid-acting man in the police chief’s jail responsible for all the mayhem that has befallen this small town? The district attorney with political aspirations says "yes," but the sheriff feels there is more to the story than is being told.
A popular group of young men has developed a type of club that has met for several years. Their small town is called Jasonville, and they think the name ironic. At their Friday night meetings, they drink beer, rough-house, and watch horror movies. Two of their favorites were the Friday the 13th movies and Nightmare on Elm Street series. Has this caused one or more of them to become a serial killer, or is it just a gruesome coincidence?
The book starts out with a bang and moves rapidly. Calling it a page-turner would seem almost cliché and could not really describe the speed at which I read this book. I started it at lunchtime and finished it before bedtime. If real life had not interfered...cleaning and cooking...I would have finished much sooner.
This is the first book I read by this author but I am looking forward to reading his other works.
— Susan Johnson, MyShelf Reviews
Dark Friday is a thriller about a small burg, Jasonville, Indiana, and a group of teenage boys who have formed a club called The Fraternal Order of Friday, named after the “Friday the 13th” horror movies. They meet every Friday night in the basement of a working mom, drink beer, and watch those scary horror films.
One boy asks if they were to go on a killing spree, which local girls should be killed. You guessed it; all the girls named are then killed or severely injured the next rainy Friday night. In addition, the police chief is injured. Typical scare and gore up to this point but then something interesting and unusual happens. The prison chaplain comes into the life of the one boy who is caught, and we are given insight into how that amazing program works. Then an investigative reporter, Kevin Gibson, comes to town and the plot gets hairy.
How much are young people affected by what they see? How much involvement should parents have in the activities of teens? What price will young people pay to belong? While I have thought of these things, fleetingly, this book makes me want to actually do something about it; so, I opened dialogue about the possibility of something like this happening with teens I know and was surprised at their interest and insight.
I think Jeffrey Leever is an artful, emerging force with this book.
— Carolyn Lanier, ILoveAMysteryNewsletter.com
Recently, I simultaneously exercised my love for horror movies and my nostalgia for childhood by watching the Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set, which contains the first eight Jason Voorhees – or is that seven or six, technically? – adventures on DVD. It was a kick to do, and had the fringe benefit of being a nice, inadvertent, frame-of-mind setup for Jeffrey Leever’s Dark Friday.
This is a novel that worships at Friday the 13th’s muddied feet. The fact that it’s set in a town called Jasonville should be your first clue. Your next should be that its main characters – a handful of socially awkward high school boys – call themselves “the Order of the Friday.” They meet weekly to watch and discuss a horror movie. After the book begins, they’re finishing Freddy vs. Jason, and talk about which girl in school they would kill if they had to.
It’s strictly wish-fulfillment fantasy on their part. But then one dark Friday – hence the title – it comes true. A gaggle of girls are dispatched one by one by a quasi-Voorhees killer described as having black eyes, wearing a paintball mask and sporting quite the arsenal of tools. One of the boys is arrested quickly for the crimes, but is he really the culprit? Newspaper reporter Kevin Gibson intends to find out....
I found it to be fun, but then I was prepped for nothing more....Leever deserves good graces for injecting more of a mystery angle into his story, whereas most would have gone for straight horror. He also earns extra points for a reveal that doesn’t quite turn out how one would expect.
Fast-paced, heart-pounding suspense. Dark Friday combines the thrills of a young James Patterson with the chills of Stephen King. — Troy Cook, The One Minute Assassin and 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers
A new talent to be reckoned with. — Midwest Book Review
Leever can clearly write and he knows how to put together a gripping nail-biter of a thriller. — Norm Goldman, Bookpleasures.com
A first-time author worth watching—and reading. — Rose & Thorn
Leever hatches an interesting concept in his debut mystery.
Well-paced, with enough intrigue and mystery to hold you spellbound. — Bookideas.com
A slam-bang opening, with taut prose, and plenty of mystery. — Donald Maass, Writing the Breakout Novel and The Career Novelist
Will keep you flipping the pages long into the night. — The American Chronicle
Jeffrey Leever is a talented writer who I am sure will have a great career as an author. — Hon. Bill Owens, former two-term governor of Colorado
Quick, tight, fast, and frightening, Leever is the type of writer who knows how to pace a novel. — Phillip Tomasso III, Adverse Impact
One that deserves your attention. — AuthorsDen.com