The concept is a strange combination of brilliantly complex yet elegantly simple - a man who nobody knows is a serial killer reads a true crime book written by the only survivor of his attacks in the hope he can stop her from unmasking him. The narrative twists and turns between the two, and the amazing way it’s crafted really conceals how tough it must have been to execute - this is not your normal time jumping flashback/forward style
The opening excerpts are truly heartbreaking. The raw explanation of the survivors feelings, the parts of her life she missed, the things she will never know, the sister she was too young to appreciate and will never see grow up are written so emotionally and believably you have to pause to understand that this is a ‘fake’ true crime novel. They get to the core of issues most people don’t think about with murders, and set the scene superbly but also in a totally different light from normal.
And that’s just the start.
I tried reviewing distress signals, the liars girl and rewind and it’s hard to fully explain why you are giving them glowing five star recommendations without spoiling anything. This is no different. But the author has an amazingly uncanny knack for truly getting inside the heads of her characters and relating everything to the reader. Whether it’s a psychopath, a frightened little girl, a confused adult, a sympathetic but disbelieving police officer or any other character brought along for the ride, she switches between them effortlessly, believably, immersively and it makes everything all the more haunting.
This is a brilliant book, the suspense so gripping that you want to race through as quickly as Jim does within it - I was gripped from start to finish, the only problem being I now have nothing left of he authors work and have to wait for her next one to come out!!
I cannot recommend this highly enough. The author is one of my favourites, and I know from interviews with her that she has a passion/fascination around serial killers and the mystique around them. This book draws on that as it also plays out it’s brilliant concept of the killer himself reading the true life memoirs of the only survivor of his attacks, whilst a police officer seeks to find him
With all these sorts of novels it’s really hard to write too much for fear of giving anything away. But what I love about this author is how the high concept plots and the brilliant twists are just a oft of the story - the real key is the characters, who are beautifully, believably and yet (and I mean this as a compliment) simply written. You feel like you have or could meet them and there’s a realness to it all that grips you despite how extreme the content may be (and the descriptions of the attacks and murders are not for the faint of heart!)
It’s a story that is gripping, heartbreaking and utterly involving. It’s something you can clearly and realistically see being made into a two or three part mini series and I truly hope it is. You won’t regret reading it (unless it’s late at night and you’re on your own and a little squeamish!!)