by Lorne Oliver
He watches in plain sight, but nobody sees him. Through his entire life the only time anyone saw him was when they needed someone to push around. This is his world now. He looks for a specific type, a specific woman who he can take and torture and eventually kill. He knows the game. He has learned how to stay hidden, how to do what he does without being caught.
Sgt. Reid of the RCMP moved his family to Prince Edward Island, “the Gentle Island,” to get away from the violent crimes that seemed to stay away from the tiny province. Getting a phone call that wakes him from the nightmare of a girl hanging from a tree bleeding from a thousand cuts throws his life into a whirlwind. Coming face to face with his nightmare threatens the peace of his family and the peace inside himself.
Expectations: I was thinking this was going to be a bit like Dexter (I'm mainly familiar with the book series, I haven't really watched the television show).
This novel takes an interesting look inside the minds of criminals and police officers by alternating between the point of view of the serial killer and the Sergeant in charge of finding him. The scenes and emotions of the two protagonists are realistic and gritty, with the author gradually peeling back the layers on Reid and Ben (the serial killer) as Ben starts his murderous career. We are given the story of Ben's childhood as well, which the author uses to develop the instability of Ben. I'm only faintly reminded of Dexter, as there is little to sympathize with Ben (Reid says it best in the end when he ridicules Ben's complaints about the world).
The way the author weaves the personal lives of Reid and Ben with their present - Reid on one side, trying to conduct a criminal investigation while keeping his past at bay, and Ben on the other planning his next murder - is particularly well done, as the reader is told only what we need to know, and we are left wondering whether Reid will pull off the capture until the last minute. There are a couple of moments when Reid is close, and you just want to jump through the pages and draw him a gigantic picture of what is going on. That element of suspense and the gradual horror of a serial killer unravelling makes this novel a stand out crime thriller.
review copy kindly provided by the author