I was already a fan of Grimm, the hit NBC TV series, when Titan Books approached me about writing an original tie-in based on the show. I jumped at the chance. The result was Grimm: The Chopping Block…
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
An Original Novel Based on the hit NBC TV series Grimm
Historian's Note: This novel takes place between “The Waking Dead” and “Goodnight, Sweet Grimm.”
* * * An International Association of Media Tie-In Writers * * *
* * * Scribe Award Finalist * * *
Synopsis: A cache of bones is found in a shallow grave in local woods... Meanwhile missing persons cases in Portland seem to be on the increase. As more bones are discovered, Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt and his partner Hank Griffin investigate - but there seems to be no connection between the victims... A brand-new original story set in the Grimm universe.
Back Cover Text: There once was a man who lived a life so strange, it had to be true. Only he could see what no one else can: the darkness inside, the real monster within. And he's the one who must stop them.
This is his calling. This is his duty. This is the life of a Grimm.
When a pile of bones is discovered in a Portland forest, severed and stripped of flesh, homicide detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin quickly rule out an animal attack, but suspect the killer is something other than human. Soon more skeletal remains are unearthed, and tests reveal that the bones were cooked before burial. As the body count increases, Nick, Hank, and reformed Blutbad Monroe must track down a Wesen with a taste for human meat, before the killer can butcher their next meal...
“Full of incredible suspense, mystery, violence, and more Wesen — this is what makes Grimm great. The characters are spot on. And the story is unique, scary, and thrilling. This fast-paced, exciting novel was impossible to put down. Fans of the show will want to pick this one up.”
—SciFiChick.com (Read full review.)
“Author John Passarella seems like a writer for the show in his ability to capture the rhythm of character dialog and how closely he hews to normal character actions and interactions; so much so that I went on IMDb.com to see if he was credited.... his talent shines here. The Chopping Block is a gripping and fast-paced read that never flags.... the kind of book you can pick up and get lost in, finishing in the wee hours without meaning to.... a quick, fun read and I recommend it for fans of the show.”
—HorrorTalk.com (Read full review.)
“The Chopping Block is a veritable feast of Grimm lore... [the] dialogue for Nick, Monroe, and Hank is spot-on, flowing evenly from small screen to novel format.... Passarella has done his research, emphasizing a reverence to the characters that doesn’t always occur in tie-ins.... a good edition to the Grimm canon.”
—The Moon Is A Dead World (Read full review.)
“[GRIMM: THE CHOPPING BLOCK is] a narrative befitting a place in the Grimm mythos.... Passarella’s done his homework... capturing the essence of each character, right down to the oft overlooked dialogue. I caught myself smiling several times throughout the book, because I could see Dave Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Bitsie Tulloch and the others delivering their lines with the same enthusiasm and heart as they do on the show. And that authenticity is why The Chopping Block shines. By itself, the book would have been a good ride but not a standout piece of fiction. But it’s not a vacuum and its strength lies in being a part of a greater whole.... a welcome addition to the fantastical world of Wesen and the Grimm chosen to fight them. What are you waiting for—go out there and pick it up!”
—ScienceFiction.com (Read full review.)
“It’s The Freshman meets Silence of the Lambs meets Fat Tuesday.... The horror scenes are something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie—a macabre, dizzying feast of violence. Yet Passarella manages to keep one foot squarely in the reality of a police procedural. The suspense is the better part, more detective work like you’d find in one of those dark and twisted films starring Clint Eastwood—his later work, that is. Think The Dead Pool. True Crime. Blood Work. Yet it has its shockers, some maybe over the top. Creepy stuff that will make your skin crawl.”
—Borg.com by C.J. Bunce (Read full review.)
“[An] intense, dark fantasy, thrill ride... Passarella clearly knows how to weave a tense thriller that’s appealing to both fans of the show and to new readers alike. The story is a great read with plenty of action and great dialogue. Passarella keeps you guessing as the plot unfolds, and there’s plenty of blood and carnage to go with all the suspense.”
—Ravenous Monster (Read full review.)
“To say that it’s not for the faint of heart is an understatement... Another bonus was the extra character development... specifically... a subplot about [Juliette's] veterinary work that is both intriguing and touching... If you love Grimm, you’ll want to pick up The Chopping Block. It’ll give you some extra time with the characters and universe you know and love, and it’s just a great book!”
—Three If By Space (Read full review.)
“[O]ne scene where a man is trying to escape is utterly unnerving, as the reader feels his fear and the palpable tension that goes with it. Any writer wanting to evoke atmosphere and downright terror would do well to read this particular chapter, a superlative piece of horror writing. . . . a tight, taut and tense thriller. . . . Passarella has written an exciting, dramatic and at times unsettling book. . . . a well-told tale that would be too dark for TV, the words playing in the mind of the reader, allowing the imagination free reign. It’s a novel that’s incredibly difficult to put down.”
—Starburst Magazine (Read full review.)
“The fact that it's much darker than both the series and the first novel that Titan Books released have definitely made it a much better read. . . . one of the impressive things here is that not only can you read it and be entertained by the story even if you haven't seen the show but you can also really get in to it as a die hard fan as well.
“For the fans out there, there are many new layers to the characters. Alongside the main story of murder, there are also two other tales too. You have Juliette suffering some heartache at work and also Monroe trying to help an old friend. While they don't really come across as essential to the solving of the case, it was nice to see a glimpse in to their world as well as Nick's. When their respective stories ended and we reached the conclusion of the case, I actually found myself missing the little insights in to their world.
“However, one of the main strengths of this book is that it was treated like a full on mystery / thriller but with a supernatural and unreal slant. There were no obvious clues and the duo of Nick and Hank had to do some proper detective work. . . . [THE CHOPPING BLOCK] made me want to read page after page of the case. . . . an absolutely superb book that will both hook in fans of the show and even non fans as well. Definitely another Titan Books release well worth picking up.”
—The Curiosity of a Social Misfit (Read Full Review.)
“The villain of the piece is indeed cooking up humans, but the reason behind it is amazing. The history of this character and the motivations for his actions were splendid additions to the Grimm-verse and he was absolutely chilling. Every time a chapter would focus on him things got darker than any episode of the series. Outstanding writing by Passarella on this character and the familiar faces from the series. . . . It was intense to read and, though I’ve been done with this book for almost a week, it still lingers in my mind. . . .
“The final line: Exceptionally gritty story with gruesome killings. This is where Grimm would go were it not for television censors. I’m hoping that John Passarella gets asked back to write another entry. Overall grade: A+”
—Patrick Hayes, SciFiPulse.Net (Read full review.)
“I was actually a little surprised at how gory The Chopping Block got — in a good way. Give the nature of these crimes too much thought and they rather dig into your imagination. . . .This isn’t a run of the mill story. Credit goes to author John Passarella for making us think as we start to tackle the unfolding events in his story. He also makes the police and allied Wesen use their brains too. There’s a surprising amount of police work in The Chopping Block. If Nick was just a Grimm and wasn’t a detective; I wonder how well he would do. . . . The Chopping Block doesn’t shy away from the Wesen rich history of the show. . . . There is plenty of action.”
—Geek Native (Read full review. )
“[An] entertaining read for Grimm fans and for people who aren’t that experienced in the television show. . . a well written adventure not afraid to venture into the darker side of Grimm’s mythology.”
—Nerdly (Read full review.)
“I simply fell in love with this book! . . . . nearly perfect. The Chopping Block is a clear A+. The novel is written in a lighthearted mood that it also makes [it] easy to love it. Even the gruesome scenes (the butchering itself, yes, Passarella describes it one chapter very.... professional) are written in a way, that gives you goosebumps but also entertains you. The tone and mood from Grimm perfectly transfered into a novel. And personally I hope this will not be the last novel in this franchise we've seen from John Passarella.”
—Fading Pics, A Place to Dream (Read full review. Caution: spoilers)
“[An] exciting adaptation. . . . [the cast] keep the traits that series fans will recognize and newcomers will appreciate. This action-packed paranormal police procedural is fast-paced fun but the audience will not eat meat while reading.”
—Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews (Read full review.)
“John Passarella writes stories that will long linger in your nightmares.”
—Huntress Reviews, as posted on Amazon.com