Raise your hand if you remember a television show titled ‘Big Brother’? How about the television show “Survivor’? Both are great shows that shined a spotlight on what happens when people are left to their own devices and must support themselves while in the presence of others. Those others, of course, being producers and millions watching all over the world. Well, if you love those shows, or shows like that, I have a treat for you and trust me, this is not a trick.
Phil Harvey’s psychological thriller will not set your mind at ease. In fact, it will make you squirm, exactly what you want from a thriller. ‘ShowTime’ takes readers by the hand and dumps them on a remote island Survivor style but unlike the television show this version gives you a great reward of $400,000.00 only if the contestants remain on the island. That means, injury, illness or starvation means nothing. No one leaves until time is up. Twisted, huh?
Seven people (four guys and three girls) are the brave individuals who sign up to live together on an island for seven months. All of the contestants have issues within their own lives. It wouldn’t make for good television if they didn’t and author Phil Harvey knows it. Little by little he reveals the background of each of the participants and it is then you realize that each of these individuals should definitely remain on the island for the entire stint of seven months. Therapy is expensive. The prize money will come in handy when everything is said and done. If they all don’t perish first.
I bet I know what you’re thinking, who are these contestants who want fame and fortune? Well, they are:
Ivan, a ex Navy Seal who has no problem doing whatever it takes to survive.
Rudy, a athletic man black man
Maureen, a redheaded who bared it all for the viewers alongside Rudy
Ambrose, a nice guy who has gambling debt taller then he is. Despite this he becomes a good leader and proposes a plan that has the potential to not only keep people alive but also earn the hefty payout. The only problem is, Ambrose didn’t count on the devil within leaving his plan to fall apart piece by piece.
Cecily, a portly woman who abandoned her family
Ashai, a lesbian who is not afraid to throw down and may have bi-sexual tendencies
Valentin, suffered a sexually abusive childhood which leads him to unwilling trust anyone else. This choice leaves him no other option but to live out the seven months alone.
Producers of the show only care about one thing: ratings. Sexual tension, a death (or two), and cold winters where food is scarce all lead to viewership. Promising bonuses if ratings go sky high, the producers showcase their true intentions. It’s all about the show. Hidden microphones, cameras in strategic locations and camera’s in trees give viewers the ability to never miss a beat. We (the viewers) are introduced to the conflict, the sex and the struggle to live.
The dialogue is crisp, the words flow across the page seamlessly and the action is exciting. Phil Harvey has created a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, leaving you to wonder the best question you could ever ask while reading: What happen’s next?
Show Time is a gripping world of cynics and survivors. It’s a fun, absorbing read and you will not stop until you reach the last of the page.
Show Time is available from 10/28 – 11/3 on the following platforms for just .99¢
In addition, visit Gumroad to get electronic copies of Show Time plus Phil Harvey’s short story collection Across the Water: Tales of the Human Heart for just $1.99.