April 2016: Slashers, serial killers, &c


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April 2016: Slashers, serial killers, &c

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Abr 2, 2016, 3:47pm

Sorry for being a little slow, I'm a bit behind in my reading so I'm lagging. ;)

So! How does everyone like their killers? ;D Do you prefer to spend your time with the smooth intriguing Hannibals that get under your skin and almost make you root for them, even though they're ruthless cold-blooded murderers? The twisted psychopaths where you're waiting for them to slip up and let the cops catch up with them? Or with the flawed cops (who're inevitably alone or in a struggling relationship) who risk life & limb to hunt them down? What suits you? ;)

Here's some potential candidates for your month!
The String of Pearls; or: Sweeney Todd - James Malcolm Rymer
Perfume - Patrick Süskind
American Gothic - Robert Bloch
Psycho - Robert Bloch
The Hellbound Heart - Clive Barker
KoKo - Peter Straub
Michael Slade's Special X series
Chelsea Cain's Archie/Gretchen series
Stuart MacBride's Logan McRae series
Thomas Harris's Hannibal series
Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series (watch out for much sexytimes in the later ones)
Lisa Gardner and Jeffery Deaver may fit the bill, though may be a bit more thriller than horror, but there's some pretty tense ones.

As I'm sure we're all aware, there can be a bit of a blurry line between horror & thriller/suspense - especially when it comes to the slasher/serial killer variety. So if you choose something that's a little more on the thriller side, no worries!

Well then, what's everyone's plans for the month? I'm figuring on another Special X (#4) by Slade myself, though I've got Sweeney Todd waiting and I'm sure others that'd fit as well, we'll see how much I have time for.

Editado: Abr 2, 2016, 3:53pm

I've got several on my tbr tagged serial killer--does that say something about me? :-)

So I'll see how many I have the stomach for. I'll probably read at least The Wasp Factory, maybe one or two more.

Abr 2, 2016, 9:42pm

I've got two already from the library that should fit (at least based on tags):

Mr. Mercedes / Stephen King
The Cabinet of Curiosities / Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I also had Intensity / Dean Koontz on hold, but gave that one up since these other two came in already!

Abr 2, 2016, 10:12pm

I'm going to read The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo. I saw it in another thread and I've wanted to try one by this author. It has the Police detective Harry Hole character.

>3 LibraryCin: I've read The Cabinet of Curiosities. I don't remember the story much except the ending. But I remember liking it. Will be interested to hear what you think.

Abr 3, 2016, 8:28am

>4 gaylebutz: The Devil's Star is a good one -- very suspenseful. I really enjoyed it.

I too will be going for a mystery/thriller featuring a serial killer. I'm glad, .Monkey., that you're OK with our stretching the genre boundaries somewhat, as I don't have at hand any serial-killer books that are strictly in the horror realm. However, the ones I'm considering, Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt and The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, are supposed to be quite dark, scary and creepy.

Abr 11, 2016, 11:45am

I enjoy all sorts of killers, be they cozy Christies or creepier Kings or darker gritty more "real" horror like Slade, and let's face it, if there's murder going on, *something* horrific is happening, even if it's not described in dark desperation. ;)

I finished Ripper yesterday. While it had much inspiration from And then there were none, I didn't find it done in an irritating pff couldn't even come up with something original, how lame kind of way, but it was more of a gritty pastiche instead, very enjoyable. I think it's probably the best of the series so far. Though the first one was also quite good.

I will say, the one main negative I have about "his" (their) work is the portrayal of women, or more particularly, men's views of women. I mean in this one he even acknowledges the issues of sexism (the first victim was a rabid feminist in town to speak about that, so there's a whole hubub), but then at the same time women are still totally objectified constantly, and/or held to the whole heavenly angel, love at first sight deal. It's like he (they) are aware of this problem, and yet still can't remove themselves from it. It's frustrating. But the characters as a whole are great, they're human, they have depth, and the plots are interesting, so I try to just push that stuff aside while reading, because they're otherwise good stuff.

Abr 13, 2016, 4:47am

Reading Shelley's The Last Man (okay seriously WHY would Pride & Prejudice be the first touchstone choice for that?!?! >__<) and needing another break from the super depression (Ripper was the first), I scoured my shelves and located Revenant, so I'm diving into that one now. Female author, female protag, win! ;)

Abr 13, 2016, 1:00pm

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Since April is for Serial Killer books I wanted to let you know about my book The Very Devil, Herself!

I really believe this novel is one you might really enjoy reading.

Here’s a brief description:

Introducing Alexandra who is ...
"Always Young, Always Beautiful, and Always Deadly!"
With a thirst for human flesh and blood Alexandra was condemned for over 200 years to prowl the dirty streets of London forever in search of her next victim until the King of England decided to employ her special skills to hunt real life serial killers for his needs instead.

“Horrifying, Terrifying, & Captivating from cover to cover.”

The Very Devil Herself!
Authored by Loren Molloy
Published by Loren Molloy
Cover Illustration by Loren Molloy
ISBN-13: 978-0692652107
ISBN-10: 0692652108
BISAC: Fiction / Horror / General

~Order Your Print Copy Now~

Happy Horrors,
Loren Molloy

Learn More

Abr 13, 2016, 11:45pm

Mr. Mercedes / Stephen King
4 stars

When a Mercedes mows down a line of people waiting in the fog for a job fair, the police are stumped. Det. Hodges, the lead detective on the case, later retires, but when he receives a letter from “Mr. Mercedes”, taunting him, he decides to investigate on his own.

I really liked this. As with most of King's books, the story is told from more than one point of view: Det. Hodges and Mr. Mercedes. In addition to liking the story, I really liked a couple of the secondary characters: Jerome, the smart, young black boy who will soon be going to college; and Holly, related to the woman who's Mercedes was originally stolen, grew on me, though I wasn't crazy about her at first.

Abr 14, 2016, 2:39am

Finished Revenant last night, it was very good. I'm always glad to find another female thriller author to add to my list! And she's written nearly 40 books, all since '99! (Actually she's written even more, her Wiki page doesn't have listed those under "the pseudonyms Caroline Burnes in romantic mysteries, and Lizzie Hart in humor" which I wouldn't be interested in anyway, but yeah she's been busy!! And she's 62 now, late start, I think it's awesome, it's fairly rare that people start writing novels so late, and get so prolific!)

Anyway, I had a suspicion fairly early whodunnit simply because of the one unexplainable thing, but it was only a vague thing, but then nearer the end when pieces started coming together I definitely fell back on that haunch and was pretty sure it was correct, but having guessed didn't take anything away from the story, I was plenty thrilled to read on and see how it all came together. I really liked this book. It's not often we get a "flawed detective" (she's a journalist, but she works to try and find out who is doing this, for her stories and because she wants to see the serial killer caught) who is female, but Haines does it incredibly well. It didn't feel cliche, it felt fresh. (not whodunnit, but character/minor plot stuff) See, Carson is a drunk. She lost her only child in a fire meant for her, and is wracked with guilt and pain. But after a few people (including a couple who don't know her very well but like what they see in her), try to gently dissuade her from her nonstop drinking and telling her she has to go on living, she actually starts to take it to heart and fights with her impulse to reach for the bottle when things get painful. That, combined with only very mild topical romance, and the strong female protagonist, all combine to make this a very enjoyable story and to put Haines on my must-read-more list. :))

Editado: Abr 14, 2016, 6:36am

>9 LibraryCin: There is a sequel, Finders Keepers, which I liked even more.

Abr 14, 2016, 7:16pm

>11 sturlington: Oh, yes! Thank you for that reminder! I knew there was one, and meant to add it to my tbr. I will do that now!

Abr 15, 2016, 10:53pm

>10 .Monkey.: I've never read any Carolyn Haines but I'll have to keep that author in mind. It is indeed nice to discover female thriller authors, as there are so few of them.

I finished Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt, and even though it's a police procedural, it really did feel like it belonged in the horror genre. I found it particularly unpleasant and disturbing because the murderers were very obviously modelled on Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, notorious serial killers from nearby Toronto. So the story hit a little too close to home! On the other hand, I really loved Blunt's writing (other than the really graphic scenes) and will be reading more of his novels.

Abr 16, 2016, 12:21am

>40 Yikes re: Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo! I remember that all... from the 80s? I think it happened when I was in high school! Granted, I was in Saskatchewan, across the country, but still scary stuff, those two!

Editado: Abr 17, 2016, 1:43pm

I finished The Wasp Factory and I really did not care for it all. Lots of gross, disturbing things happened, and I wasn't buying it. Good thing it was short or I probably wouldn't have finished it.

Edited. I originally said that I thought this book was misogynist. But that's not necessarily true. I think Banks actually wanted to make some good points about gender. But I couldn't get past how f'ed up all of these characters were, not just the narrator but the father and the brother. That kind of defeated any of the gender messages for me.

Anyone else who's read it have thoughts on this aspect of the book?

Abr 17, 2016, 2:16pm

>15 sturlington:

I'm afraid I've forgotten the details, but I thought the book was great (and incomparably better than Banks' sf that I tried), except for specifically how the gender of that one person was handled... something along those lines. Don't remember thinking "misogyny", but my impression is that it was clumsy enough to look that way.

Abr 17, 2016, 2:41pm

>16 LolaWalser: "Clumsy" is a good word for it. I have read four of Banks' novels by now, two thrillers and two sci-fi, and they all have been middling reads for me. I think I have given this author a fair shake, but he doesn't seem to be a good fit for me.

Maio 5, 2016, 12:20pm

I finished The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo (better late than never). This was my first by Nesbo.

It started with Police Det. Harry Hole drinking heavily and not always showing up to work after his partner is killed under suspicious circumstances. Harry thinks it's a fellow officer but no one believes him. On the verge of being fired, Harry is assigned to a missing person's case along with the fellow officer he thinks killed his partner. Harry pulls himself together to work the case, which turns into serial killing, and also try to figure out more about his corrupt fellow officer.

This started a bit slow as Harry was depressed but once it got going it was suspenseful to the end. There were quite a few characters with Norwegian names which could get a bit confusing. There was not much graphic violence, which I was glad of. There were a number of twists and turns and two resolutions - one for the serial killer and one for the corrupt officer, which I followed. But I was a little unclear about what happened after it was all over, at the very end.

Overall, I liked the characters, the story, the suspense and the writing and I would read more of Nesbo.

Maio 6, 2016, 9:18am

Just finished The Hollows by Joe Landsdale. Really enjoyed this. Kind of a cross between To Kill a Mockingbird and Boy's Life with a serial killer twist.

Maio 10, 2016, 11:11am

The Bottoms not The Hollows. I'm an idiot.

Jul 26, 2016, 9:22am

>15 sturlington: I wasn't a fan of the gender issue, I didn't think the book needed it on top of everything else. Here's my thoughts after reading the book:

"The inner world that the central character has created for himself is so absorbing that this really is the most fun a person could have experiencing the madness of another. In fact it was so perfect that the twist was completely unnecessary."

I gave the book 4 stars. It was sick and demented but sometimes funny (something to do with a kite and a small child made me laugh), but may read differently a second time.

Jul 26, 2016, 9:53am

>21 Moomin_Mama: I can see how the absurdity of it made you laugh. For me, it strained my suspension of disbelief too much.

Jul 26, 2016, 1:14pm

>22 sturlington: It certainly strained my suspension of disbelief by the end, with the twist and the return of the sibling (wasn't it a brother, with a herd of sheep in tow?), which is why it got a 4.