When I got back from holiday I had three weeks worth of mail behind the door, and included in that was a white envelope with the familiar Transworld logo on it. There’s nothing like a good book or three to counteract the post-holiday blues. This one is the third book in the current round from the Transworld Book Club and I was keen to read it so I bumped it to the top of the To Be Read pile.
A murder committed on paper, safely within the confines of a novel, is one thing. To see that same crime in the real world, is something else entirely. . .
Frank Føns is a very successful crime writer. His novels, famed for their visceral descriptions of violent death, have made him a household name. But now someone is copying his crimes. For Frank what once seemed a clever, intriguing plot twist, has suddenly become a terrifying, blood-spattered reality.
In the novel, a redhead who was scared of water is drowned. In the mirror-image of the real world, she has become an ex-girlfriend chained and left to die at the bottom of the harbour. A corrupt police-officer tortured to death becomes a contact who dies with fear in his eyes. Someone is taking Franks’ fiction and using it to destroy his life. The writer must become the detective.
In fiction, the bad guy always gets caught, but in real life there is no such guarantee. Fear becomes real. The knife cut hurts like hell. Our narrator may not survive. No-one is promising you a happy ending. For Frank what had once been a game is now a matter of life and death.
The book starts with a murder and you soon learn how unpleasant the death of the victim was. The murders in the book are graphic and described in some detail in some cases, and are quite imaginative. I rather liked that.
The narrator and main character was a complicated man. I couldn’t decide if I liked him or not. At times I felt sorry for him but at others I felt he deserved what happened to him. He was most definitely one of my suspects at one point, along with several other main characters at various times. Was he hallucinating or were these dreadful things really happening? Could he be blacking out and doing the terrible murders himself? Lots to ponder as I read.
The ending was a huge shock. The last chapter was defintely not for anyone squeamish, but the very end was something I could never have predicted. I won’t say any more as I hate spoilers but it was very refreshing to come across something so different.
I really enjoyed this. I felt slightly off balance while I was reading it, slightly unsettled. And this, of course, is how you should be feeling when reading a book like this. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author.