Be My Killer
by Richard Parker
Published May 26, 2017
Goodreads: See here
Plot at a Glance:
You set the trap. Now you can’t escape.
When an online prank goes viral and triggers a spate of gruesome murders, documentary maker Hazel Salter watches in horror. But then Hazel’s childhood friend, Meredith Hickman, is the next victim and Hazel knows she has to find out what happened to her. Is it one killer or more? Random acts of violence, or part of a bigger, twisted plan?
The police have no leads, but Hazel has a theory – one she’ll stop at nothing to prove – and she also has a film crew. She’ll make a documentary, catch the killer, and give Meredith justice. Her stage is the abandoned amusement park where Meredith was found.
Her cast are the family and friends the killer left behind. And her crew? They keep disappearing, one by one…
Unfortunately, I’m underwhelmed.
I’m a huge fan of horror movies. I’ll take anything really, but I spent a great deal of my formative teenage years feasting on the great horror slashers of the 80s and 90s. So when I came across this book, which promised a prominent slasher-storyline for horror fans to enjoy, I was definitely intrigued.
Lets start with the good first, because I really want to point out that this is technically quite well written. Richard Parker has an engaging command of prose. It’s very descriptive without being overly pretentious or delving into purple prose. I felt like I could envision the story and the characters well, which definitely helped up my enjoyment of the story.
I also appreciated that it’s clear Richard Parker is also a fan of the horror genre. There’s a lot for horror fans to love here. The murders in particular are inventive and gruesome though it is quite heavy on gore. It felt quite reminiscent of the Saw movies in terms of the creativity behind the crimes, to give you an example of the tone without spoilers. If you’re not a fan of horror that relies on gore to scare, consider yourself forewarned.
That being said, there were a few things that let me down.
We have to talk about the killer in particular. One of the great things about slasher movies is that the most recognized ones all take the time to craft a striking killer that the audience won’t soon forget. Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers all come to mind when you say “slasher.” Unfortunately, the #BeMyKiller figure wasn’t memorable enough. He/She has no personality because he/she has no interaction with their victims save for the method by which they pick them. The kills were gruesome, but the killer and victim moments weren’t engaging enough.
Not to mention the logistics of the killer being who they were, and using social media technology to track and murder their victims both fell totally flat for me. I couldn’t help but think the entire time that the FBI must have safeguards in place that would allow them to easily track people behind accounts if/when things like this happened. That fact was mostly overlooked in favor of just buzzing along with the premise. And as I said, the reveal of who was behind the killer is underwhelming, no matter how you slice it.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book takes place in my home-state of Vermont. However, I can only assume that the author is from the UK, as the dialogue felt very British to me, even among the locals that lived in the town the story took place in. It sort of detracted from the story in my opinion. Why not just set the story in the UK in order to make the colloquialisms fit?
When all is said and done, the mystery and the brutality behind the story was engaging enough for me, but I found the execution at the end in particular lacking.
🌟🌟🌟✩✩= 3/5 stars
Know of any great suspense thrillers you think I should read next? I’m looking for some recommendations! 🙂