Wednesday, July 15, 2015

THE KILLING LESSONS by Saul Black

Rating:                                 ✪✪✪  out of 5 Stars
Release Date:                      May 2015
Publisher’s Website:         Hachette Australia

My thoughts:
   I love a good serial killer novel. In fact, I’m smack bang in the middle of writing my own. Getting inside the mind of a twisted character is fun in a weird way. I’m always comparing serial killers to the killer in Red Dragon (adapted for screen as Silence of the Lambs) and most just don’t compare. Not so with The Killing Lessons.
   The opening scene of the book throws you straight into the middle of one of the worst murders you can imagine — a mother in an isolated house trapped by two killers, her daughter, outside playing, and her son, upstairs in his bedroom. The ten-year-old daughter escapes. Injured and freezing, she survives, but where she ends up may not be her salvation. The consequences of the opening chapters come back at the end in a page-turning finale.
  San Franciscan homicide detective Valerie Hart is haunted by the serial killings. She and her team are attempting to decipher clues that make no sense. They don’t even know if they're tracking the same killer or killers.
   Just when you think the story can’t get any tenser, the killers kidnap another victim. This victim is not giving up without a fight as all the plot threads combine to a thrilling climax. It’s awful, gripping, terrifying and masterfully written.
   What I loved about this book was the multiple characters’ point-of-views and the various plot strands, that are so compelling in their own right. You know eventually they will all converge, but it’s how the author manoeuvres his characters and storyline which makes for such a good read.
   If you love your killers twisted and crazy, then The Killing Lessons is for you. Just prepare yourself for sleepless nights.

   I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia for an honest review. Thank you to the wonderful book-loving people there.  More about this book at: The Killing Lessons

BOOK BLURB
    When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.
   For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of corpses - women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them - has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she's losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens.
   But the slaughter at the Cooper farmhouse didn't quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena's ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings. Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go. And that place could be even more terrifying than what she's running from.

About the author:

Saul Black is a pseudonym used by Glen Duncan. Glen Duncan is a British author born in 1965 in Bolton, Lancashire, England to an Anglo-Indian family. He studied philosophy and literature at the universities of Lancaster and Exeter. In 1990 Duncan moved to London, where he worked as a bookseller for four years, writing in his spare time. In 1994 he visited India with his father (part roots odyssey, part research for a later work, The Bloodstone Papers) before continuing on to the United States, where he spent several months travelling the country by Amtrak train, writing much of what would become his first novel, Hope, published to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic in 1997. Duncan lives in London. Recently, his 2002 novel I, Lucifer has had the film rights purchased, with actors such as Ewan Mcgregor, Jason Brescia, Jude Law, Vin Diesel, and Daniel Craig all being considered for roles in the forthcoming movie.



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