A is for atrocities, B is for brutality, C is for cold-blooded murder, ... what comes next? The book opens with a peek inside a cookie-scented, perfect family home - one which is about to be ripped apart by bloodshed and suffering. And this is just the latest in a string of horrific, barbaric and depraved murders dotted all over the USA. Add into the mix a perfectly imperfect antihero (antiheroine?) in the form of Valerie Hart, the lead cop trying to drown her demons in a growing drink problem, and you have the makings of a really good crime novel.
The serial killer is deliciously depraved (on paper - I wouldn't like him in person !) and the glimpses into his past give you just enough empathy to really understand his motivation. The book almost makes you question whether he is a victim just as much as his own victims.
It's been a while since I read a really good work of crime fiction that had me racing through the pages, turning out the light to go to sleep far too late night after night and almost missing my stop on the bus ride to work several days on the trot. The Killing Lessons totally hit the mark though and Saul Black is definitely on my list of must-read authors now, along with Chelsea Cain and Chris Carter. It's not for the faint hearted but if you love crime fiction, you're on to a winner.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £12.99
Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.